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Bishops undertake 50km Columban pilgrimage 11.04.17

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 heritage.
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’).
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