The Iria Foundation was glad to assist one of the priest chaplains to attend the annual Christus Rex (Christ the King) Pilgrimage which takes place every year on the last weekend in October.
The Pilgrimage is a walking Pilgrimage over three days with pilgrims walking from Ballarat Cathedral to Bendigo Cathedral for a Solemn High Traditional Mass to conclude the three days held in the Bendigo Cathedral. This year around 600, principally young, pilgrims walked the entire way, with many others joining on the last day swelling numbers to over 1000 for the final Mass.
The Chaplains have a crucial role in hearing confessions, preaching at all of the Masses, as well as at certain key moments en route. Moreover many of the chaplains join the pilgrims walking, and are thus able to provide valuable opportunities for spiritual direction for individual pilgrims.
Many first-time pilgrims are astounded by the youth contingent in this pilgrimage supporting traditional Catholic values. Why are young people attracted to this? They come in droves to meet their friends and to walk, pray and offer suffering for their sins and those for whom they pray, joyfully and willingly. Year by year the numbers continue to grow. Indeed the number of chaplains this year was at an all-time low, and there will be a need to encourage and assist priests to be able to come as chaplains for future pilgrimages. Please let Iria Foundation know if you can help in any way, or contact the Pilgrimage organisers directly here: christusrexpilgrimage.com