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Going on pilgrimage is a common human desire and activity. It may be found across many cultures and religions. It symbolises our search for God, with hearts that are restless until they rest in him.

Our pilgrimage to join Pope Francis at Lisbon this year takes its theme from Luke’s Gospel: “Mary arose and went in haste.” Carrying our Saviour in her womb, Mary went to see Elizabeth, her cousin, also unexpectedly pregnant. Whatever she expected when she set out, Mary received deep affirmation of the message of the angel, which she was still pondering in her heart.

Whatever you may expect from this pilgrimage, be ready for God to show you new things and speak to your heart. Your fellow pilgrims will be messengers of God’s presence and Word for you, as you could be for them.

+Michael McKenna
Bishop of Bathurst