Taken from the West Australian, Bethany Hiatt Educational Editor 6th June 2015
“As well as a few blisters, a group of hardy Year 12 students walking from Perth to New Norcia hope to gain a sense of spiritual achievements and an insight into Perth’s early history.
The 15 Mercedes College students doing the 145km trek are followig closely as possible in the steps of Spanish monk Dom Rosendo Salvado, who set off on foot in 1847 to establish the Benedictine order’s New Norcia mission. His life was intertwined with thato f Ursula Frayne, one of the sisters of Mercy who established Mercedes College. Both religious pioneers made the voyage to Perth on the same ship in 1846.
The school has adapted the Camino Salvado pilgrim trail from Subiaco to New Norcia, which is based on the popular 800km Camino de Santiago pilgrim walk in Spain, and renamed its version the Camino de Merced, or path of mercy.
Mercedes head of religious education Ben Bull said though students from other schools had done sections of the Salvado trail, he believed it was the first time a school group would complete the entire walk.
The students set out on Thursday from St John’s Pro Catherdral on Victoria Avenue, the earliest Catholic Church building in WA, and follow the Swan River to the Swan Valley.
They started walking again yesterday at Bells Rapids on the Avon River and expect to arrive in New Norcia on Wednesday, where they will get a warm welcome from the rest of the Year 12 cohort.
Mr Bull said the pilgrimage would give students a chance for reflection and a sense of achievement.
“It’s so hard to quantify exactly what they get out of it, but we know that for thousands of years people have embarked on pilgrimages for a variety of reason,” he said. “And we do know that i does bring some benefits to one’s spirituality.”
The Pilgrim made the news in the Hills Gazette. Here is the article content
“A NEW bush walk through the natural Julimar State Forrest near Toodyay will enable modern day pilgrims to find spiritual peace.
The Pilgrim Trail is a contemporary journey that terminates at the Monastery of the Benedictine Monks in New Norcia.
Organiser Duncan Jefferson said the journey began with the idea of taking time out to think about who we are and where we’re going in our lives.
“The journey itself can be as important as the destination,” Mr Jefferson said.
Mr Jefferson said the trail took eight days but people could start or finish anywhere along the trek without having to walk the full eight days.
“If you only have a four-day window then by all means start in Toodyay and finish in New Norcia,” he said.
The inspiration for the trail was the established route which had been set up in 1846 by Father Rosendo Salvado, a Spanish Benedictine monk who came to Perth to serve the Aboriginal people in the Swan River Settlement and then moved to New Norcia where the mission was established.
The spiritual side of the tour offers ancient Aboriginal cultural heritage information in WA as well as the exercise and meals.
Back packs are carried by car to each destination and meals are provided en route.
Those completing the walk can deepen their understanding of the European Christian influence that came to WA and links the city with the bush.
Mr Jefferson said the walk offered people the opportunity to “leave their footprints in the story of the trail.”
“The two current walks for August and September are full and there are no more places for 2015.”
He said if others were keen to complete the walks this year they could organise their own walk on the developing camping areas on the trail.
The State Government Minister for Roads recently announced the the proposed Bye-Pass for New Norcia will proceed and it is intended that it will be open for traffic in 2017. The pilgrim Trail Foundation have worked closely with the Main Roads during the development of the plans and as a result we have made some changes to the final days of the trail – all of which are for the safety and greater experience of the walkers.
Main Roads will be incorporating a safe crossing on the new highway and are proposing to help create a new entry into New Norcia across the river to the south of the town. The Pilgrim Trail Board are very grateful for the manner in which Main Roads have taken our needs into consideration.
The other great news is that the Department of Parks and Wildlife are helping us in marking the Trail through Walyunga and Julimar Parks. This should be completed by the end of June. This has cemented a great relationship between our two organisations and we thank them enormously for their support and encouragement.
Our next big challenge is to create world class camping sites along the trail and discussions are already well under way to action this goal.
Finally, we’re working on Membership. So if you’re interested in receiving an email newsletter or becoming an active member to support the Pilgrim Trail, please send me your contact details to email@example.com
With the two Camino Salvado Pilgrimages by St Josephs in Subiaco already full, more Colleges becoming interested in walking the trail and individual walkers wanting to “do their own thing” MMXV looks like becoming a seminal year in the development of the Pilgrim Trail. We also discussed creating a Sister-link with the Camino De Santiago and have initiated discussion with the regional Government in Galicia to get the ball rolling. We are also planing to extend Membership of the Pilgrim Trail to the wider community and are working on “Member Benefits” to go with it. But the big news out of the Board Meeting is that we will officially launch the Trail at Easter 2016 with a special walking group that will include some of the original walkers from 2009. If you’re interested in being part of this Historic event, please contact us early as interest will be huge!
If you want any information about us please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia is a tough country. Todays news of bushfires raging in the Bindoon area after a day of 44C heat reinforce that fact.
The fire has been burning through the Military Training area on a 5km front and moving at 450m per hour. As I write it is described as being ‘out of control’. Not only is wildlife threatened, but farms, homes and livelihoods are all at risk. I have seen and experienced the terrifying power of such fires and they are truly awful things. Our hearts and prayers go out to those who are suffering as a result of the bush fires and our heartfelt thanks go to those volunteer fire services personnel who risk all to fight them on our behalf.
When it comes to re-building, we should all do what we can.
One of the joys of building the Pilgrim Trail and creating the Camino Salvado ® has been building links with new peoples both here and overseas. First it was our Camino Salvado ® Committee, then it was the walkers themselves. After that it was the Pilgrim Trail Foundation Board members, then meeting with the Whadjuk and Yued people, and all the councils, cities, DPaW Rangers and administrators and the hundreds of others with whom we have crafted such a great relationship. Now we’re going global with the Colloquium in Galicia, Spain and the wonderful people we met there. Now we’re in the twitter-sphere taking our message and our Camino Salvado to the whole world.
The Camino Salvado® – the way of Salvado – follows the Pilgrim Trail from Perth to New Norcia under our great southern sky. At night the stars blaze and all we Aussies love pointing out our Southern Cross.
The Camino Frances starts in France and ends in Spain at Santiago de Compostela. One suggested origin of the name Compostela is “Field of Stars” as early pilgrims often slept out under them.
At Christmas, may you remember that great star that heralded the birth of the Christ child.
Buon Camino and JinJin – Australian Noongar for Good Spirit – to you all.
Yesterday I went into the city to do some Christmas Shopping. As usual there were several ‘wounded’ people sitting with their regulation pieces of cardboard telling of their need for our spare cash. One was a young woman who intrigued me. Not only did her sign say that she was homeless and pregnant, but she was actually reading a book. She seemed startled when I squatted down to talk to her. “Can you do something for me this Christmas” I asked her. Her face, though quite youthful, was flushed with that redness that comes with an unhealthy acquaintance with either alcohol or drugs. She mumbled “Maybe” in reply. “Take good care of yourself and your baby please” I said. She paused, thought for a moment and answered “I’ll try”.
This morning I was passing a man selling the “Big Issue”. My family joke that I must be related to royalty because I rarely carry any money on me, but I always make a point of stopping to talk with these Big Issue vendors as they’re usually trying to change their lives. I apologised for not being able to help him out with cash but wished him every blessing for a good Christmas and every success in 2015. “I doubt it’ll be as good as 2014” he replied enthusiastically “This year I managed to find somewhere permanent to live and I’ve saved up enough to buy a second hand car” he beamed at me.
Two people, two stories, two gifts for me this Christmas. Sometimes when you think you’re helping others, they give you something in return that no money can buy.
Did anyone get to attend the premier performance of Joby Talbots Path of Miracles at Government House in Perth on November 26th 2014? Apparently it was fantastic.
Joby’s work is inspired by the Camino de Santiago – or the Camino Frances. I have long harboured the idea of finding someone who would compose an appropriate piece of work to reflect our Camino Salvado ™ as it follows the Pilgrim Trail ®
If you like Capella music then listen to a piece from Path of Miracles on YouTube.
If you are a Composer or know of a Composer who might be inspired by our contemporary Pilgrim Trail here in Australia, then please contact me.