A multi-faith pilgrimage

On a sunny day in Victoria on Saturday 8th October, a group of Buddhist, Baptist and Catholics mainly of Burmese origin and some Australians took on a spiritual pilgrimage to some holy places.

The first stop is the Memorial Cross on Mount Macedon which commemorates those who gave their lives in the 1914-1918 war. The pilgrimage group arrived at the Cross about 9:30 AM and was welcomed by a cool and misty embrace of the nature. A Baptist deacon and the pilgrimage organizer, Martin West brought pilgrims together at the foot of the cross to listen to the Word of God, and then Fr Will Matthews SDB and a Karen Baptist minister Gail Moe prayed for gratitude, guidance and protection for the pilgrimage.

The group then continue their journey to the Sacred Heart Cathedral, the centre and mother church of all Catholics in Bendigo’s Sandhurst diocese. In this Cathedral, Fr Will welcomed all pilgrims and explained the many aspects of the gothic cathedral particular the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and the role of a bishop. A few theological questions were raised and discussed in this God’s House by the pilgrims.

pilgrimageThe third and the final stop was St. Anthony’s Monastery in Heathcote where Egyptian Coptic Orthodox monks live. The head of the monastery and a few monks welcomed the pilgrims upon their arrival and explained the history of the monastery. Then the pilgrims were invited into their beautiful and iconic chapel in the shape of Noah’s ark. Br. Anthony explained different aspects of the chapel and many beautiful icons. Fr. Will Matthews have translated into Burmese of Br. Anthony’s explanation. At the conclusion and on behalf of the pilgrims, Fr Will thanked the Coptic Monks for their warm welcome and friendship.

All pilgrims went home in the evening after visiting these sacred places and experiencing some presence of God in various parts of the pilgrimage.

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