Parish pilgrimage raises money for building fund

The pilgrims

The pilgrims stopped outside St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and Hope Centre on Loch Lomond Road for this shot. From left: Jim and Elizabeth Kendal, the Rev. Canon Leo Martin, Bishop David Edwards and avid pilgrim Trevor Fotheringham.  ~submitted photos

By Gisele McKnight

It seems pilgrimage fever has struck in the Parish of Fundy and the Lakes in St. John County.
Bishop David Edward’s trusted fellow pilgrim and Brit, Trevor Fotheringham, and the parish rector, the Rev. Canon Leo Martin, set out on a two-day pilgrimage June 23-24 to walk 50 kilometres across the parish.

“What began as a joke about walking from one end of the parish to another became reality when I accepted Trevor’s challenge of walking to raise funds for our recently purchased furnaces,” said Leo.

The walk raised $1,500 for the building fund. But this walk had some ripple effects beyond an infusion of cash, and some might say they were just as valuable as a topped-up building fund.

The weather was not co-operative

The weather was not co-operative during the parish pilgrimage.

“The walk allowed us to see and experience the geography of the parish, especially its many long hills,” said Leo.

“The time on the road also gave me the opportunity to reflect on the parish and its loving and caring people who have worshipped in this part of the diocese for so many years.

“An added bonus of this trek was to see the involvement of so many parishioners helping in varied roles to make our walk a success. All corners of the parish bonded together to make this a true parochial event.”

In true form, the pilgrims were well taken care of, with a breakfast in St. Martins, plus lunch and supper at other parish halls along the way, all shared with parishioners.

“All points of the parish were involved,” said Trevor. “The idea was to create a sense of community within the parish.”

It was only Trevor and Leo walking the first day, but on the second day, four or five others from the parish, plus the bishop, joined them.

On day one, they walked from St. Martins to Black River. Day two saw them walk from St. Thomas Church in Black River to Christ the King Church in east Saint John, with a stop at All Saints in Upper Loch Lomond. They visited all the churches, former and current, in the parish.

“I now ask myself whether I would do this again,” said Leo, who is a marathon runner. “My answer is that perhaps next year, I can challenge Trevor to join me in a marathon instead!”

At a stop in one of the parish churches.

Leo’s Sister Gisele Richard, Canon Leo Martin (front), Elizabeth and Jim Kendal, Nancy Maynard, Earle Black, Dwight Stuart, Paulette Black and Trevor Fotheringham at a stop in one of the parish churches.