Follow in the Footsteps of St Kevin for Come&C Camino
Seasoned hill walkers and tentative trail finders of all levels of fitness will be invited to take to the Wicklow Mountains next month for the Come&C Camino. Dublin and Glendalough’s Come&C discipleship programme continues to grow with the development of the Camino of Glendalough. A special event will take place in Glendalough and on St Kevin’s Way on Sunday November 6.
Within the bounds of our United Dioceses, we are blessed with the sacred space of the Glendalough Monastic City and its environs. Glendalough can best be described as a liminal place, where heaven and earth meet and visitors are afforded the serene opportunity to bask in the glory of God. Many may visit Glendalough annually (it is amongst the top tourist sites in Ireland) but not all would be strictly speaking best described as pilgrims. According to Sally Welch in her book Making a Pilgrimage, “Pilgrimage is a meaningful journey to a sacred place”. She continues: “The essence of pilgrimage is a journey made in a spirit of searching, with the openness to what the journey can teach.”
Fully aware of our call to be disciples, and of our instruction to journey with Christ, Camino organisers are inviting you to consider the example of Saint Kevin, and join people from all over the dioceses on Sunday November 6 for a series of journeys. Routes have been prepared to suit different levels of physical fitness and spiritual zeal. Resources will be provided for the walks, which will promote holy reflection and contemplation. “In this respect, we are confident that your joy will be increased and that you will be drawn into a ‘spacious place’ (Psalm 18) by the hand of the Lord,” the organisers say.
The event will begin at both ends of St Kevin’s Way. Services will take place simultaneously in St Kevin’s Church, Hollywood and St John’s, Laragh at 9.30 am.
Following the service in Hollywood, pilgrims will have the choice of making the 30km journey by foot, bicycle or car. A booklet will be provided to aid the journey. Those that travel by car will be able to stop at certain points in their journey where St Kevin’s Way meets the R756. Walkers should expect to take at least six hours to complete this route.
Those attending St John’s, Laragh, on the day, will be provided with a booklet outlining walks around the Monastic City and along the Green Road. There will also be an opportunity to take a shorter walk along St Kevin’s Way from the Wicklow Gap to Glendalough. This is approximately 12km and will take approximately two hours to complete. A bus will be provided to take adventurers to Wicklow Gap.
St John’s, Laragh, will act as an information base on the day and participants are free to join in activities at any time that is suitable to them.
Weather permitting, the day will conclude with a gathering at the Upper Lake in Glendalough for a service of praise and thanksgiving at 3.30 pm.
The November event follows on from a Confirmation Camino based on the Come&C 5 Marks Challenge involving confirmation candidates from three Glendalough parishes. Young people from Rathdrum & Derralossary with Glenealy, Castlemacadam, Ballinatone and Aughrim and Arklow, Inch and Kilbride will participate in the camino day this weekend reflecting on the pilgrimage and the Five Marks of Mission.
Photo caption: Walkers on St Kevin’s Way in Glendalough – Photograph by Nigel Waugh.