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Pilgrims from around the Diocese gathered at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Carcoar on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception for the annual Diocesan pilgrimage.

As part of the day, Bishop Michael McKenna launched his 2023 Pastoral Letter, Alive and Active Reading the Bible Together, highlighting the many ways that the Word of God enriches a community’s and individual’s faith life.

With Bishop McKenna’s Pastoral letter focusing on the importance of Scripture and the community coming together to share its treasure, Fr Greg Bellamy, the new Diocesan Vicar for Evangelisation and Mission, shared a vision for how scripture will continue to be part of the renewal and evangelisation of our communities. It was also wonderful to hear from Bernadette Collins, from Shalom, who shared how the Bible is central to the retreats that they run. Retreat participants are encouraged to immerse themselves in Scripture, the people, the places, the circumstances and then draw relevance to their own lives.

Pilgrims spent time in Adoration, personal reflection and prayer in the calming surrounds of Carcoar. One pilgrim commented, “it refreshed my tired soul” especially just as the busyness of the End of the Year approaches.

Next year our annual Diocesan Pilgrimage will coincide with the 50th anniversary of Shalom House of Prayer and all are encouraged to attend.