Bishops undertake 50km Columban
TWO Irish bishops of
different denominations are to undertake a 50km pilgrimage
together in Donegal and Derry to promote
reconciliation and celebrate their shared Christian
Catholic Bishop of Derry, Dr Donal McKeown and his
Church of Ireland counterpart Bishop Ken Good will
undertake the three-day walk from Saint Columba’s
birthplace in Gartan, Co Donegal to St Augustine’s
Church in Derry which is said to be the site of a
6th Century Columban monastery.
The bishops will visit parishes along the way,
praying with people in their local churches during
the event starting on April 27.
In a joint statement today, the bishops said: “In
undertaking this initiative and these pilgrimages,
we are inspired by the example of our predecessors
and building on our shared Christian identity. Saint
Columba is one of the great figures in Christian
history and someone of whom Christians in the North
West can be proud.”
Catholic Bishop of Derry Donal
McKeown, left, and the Church of Ireland Bishop of
Derry and Raphoe Ken Good.
Later this year, the
senior clerics will also visit the small Scottish
island of Iona where Columba settled, founded a
monastery and later died.
“We are eager to heighten the profile of faith
traditions in our dioceses and hope our shared
witness to the Gospel will encourage reconciliation
in our community," the bishops added.
"We want to raise awareness of the long
ecclesiastical history of our community, its shared
Columban narrative and rich Columban heritage.”
The first event, the walk from Gartan to Derry, will
take place in three stages between 27th and 29th of
April. On the first day, 27th of April, the bishops
will walk from St Columba’s birthplace in Gartan to
Conwall Church of Ireland Church in Letterkenny
(‘Cross to Cross’); on the second day, 28th of
April, the bishops will walk from St Eunan’s
Cathedral, Letterkenny to St Aengus’ Roman Catholic
Church, Burt (‘Church to Church’); on the third and
final day, 29th of April, the two church leaders
will walk from St Aengus’ Church to St Augustine’s
Church in Derry-Londonderry, via the Foyle walkway
(‘Country to Town’).