Camino Walk to celebrate the monastic heritage of North Westmeath and connect with the Camino de Santiago
You or a representative are invited to participate in a Camino Walk from Fore Abbey to Mullingar Cathedral on Saturday morning 27 July at 9:00am.
The walk has been designed to celebrate our monastic heritage by exploring the link between the Augustinian foundations of Fore and Mullingar; and to connect with all who have walked to Santiago de Compostela.
In 1996, remains of monks were uncovered during development work at Austin Friars Street in Mullingar. Some of the monks had been buried wearing the scallop shell – the distinctive emblem of a pilgrim to the tomb of Saint James in Compostela. When the remains of the monks were returned by authorities at the National Museum, they were buried in the grounds of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar in 2003. These scallop shells are now in the care of the National Museum and are on display as part of the “Medieval Ireland Exhibition” on Kildare Street.
Next Saturday’s walk from Fore to Mullingar will recreate a day along the Camino de Santiago. A typical day’s walk on the Camino is around 22km. The journey will begin with a prayer in the monastery of Saint Feichin at Fore in Collinstown parish.
On the journey towards Taghmon parish, pilgrims will take a pause for reflection and to have their pilgrim passport stamped at Lough Lene (where other significant finds have been made in 1883 and 1972) and at St Munna’s Church in Taghmon (“Taghmon” is an anglicised version of “Teach Munna”). Cromwell is reputed to have taken over this Church for lodgings when he was in the area.
On arrival into Mullingar parish the walkers will pause on Austin Friars Street at a sculpture commemorating the monks who lived nearby before concluding the walk at the Camino Garden in the grounds of Mullingar Cathedral.
An essential dimension of the pilgrim walk is the hospitality offered along the way through three parishes – Collinstown, Taghmon and Mullingar. Walkers are being invited to make the journey in a spirit of pilgrimage and simplicity by disconnecting from mobile phones so that all might appreciate the heritage of those who walked these roads before us. The Pilgrim Passport (known on the Camino as the “Credencial del Peregrino” will be stamped in six locations along the route so there will be no need to update Facebook Status.
Commenting on the initiative Father Michael Kilmartin CC said: “Over 250 pilgrim packs have been distributed so far. We have extended the registration date for the walk until Thursday 25 July at 6.00pm. This will enable the organisers to prepare the pilgrim packs, organise the refreshment stops and co-ordinate bus transport to the start of the journey. The pilgrim pack (suggested donation €10) includes the Pilgrim Passport, Scallop Shell, safety jacket and a trail map.”
Linda Cunnane commenting on behalf of the organising committee hopes that: “the Camino Garden will be a worthy marker for previous generations who have walked the Camino and also a place for 21st century pilgrims to connect with all who have made the journey to the tomb of St James. We also hope that we can connect with the thousands of Irish people who have walked the Camino in recent years as part of this Year of Faith and Year of Gathering.”
A prayer card is being prepared for all who make the journey from Fore to Mullingar next Saturday while a Pattern Prayer (similar to those used on Lough Derg or Croagh Patrick) has been developed for visitors to the Camino Garden.
Notes to Editors:
Registration for the Camino Walk closes at 6:00pm on Thursday 25 July (Feast of Saint James). Please direct all queries to Linda Cunnane at the parish office on 044-9348338.
Further details and a video invitation are available at http://www.mullingarparish.ie/news?news_id=233
Social Media links: Facebook – www.facebook.com/CaminoGarden Twitter hashtag – #CaminoGarden
In recent months a garden has been developed in the grounds of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar and this can be viewed at www.facebook.com/CaminoGarden
Details for participants:
- Registration for this walk is essential to ensure its smooth operation. New pilgrim packs will not be issued on Saturday morning.
- Parking is available at the Cathedral from 07:30am. Buses will transport walkers to Fore Abbey. Those who arrive on the early buses on Saturday morning will have ample time to explore the Abbey.
- As the walk is taking place in the spirit of a pilgrimage participants will be asked to disconnect from technology (mobile phones, cameras) for the duration of the walk.
- A safety vest, water-bottle and sunscreen are recommended for participants.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444, Father Michael Kilmartin, Cathedral House, Mullingar Co Westmeath 044-9348338 and Father Robert McCabe 087-9242024