Laypeople and Religious taking part in the walk. Photos: RICHARD LIMLaypeople and Religious taking part in the walk. Photos: RICHARD LIM
More than 100 Catholics from 17 parishes took part in a “Mercy Walk” for peace to mark the International Year of Consecrated life as well as the start of the Jubilee Year of Mercy on Dec 8.

Laypeople joined Daughters of St Paul, Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, Good Shepherd and Canossian nuns, and Jesuit and Franciscan priests, in walking from Changi Prison Museum to the Church of Divine Mercy to participate in the Jubilee Year Mass.

The idea of starting the 5.2-km journey from Changi Prison Museum came from Fr Johnson Fernandez, parish priest of Divine Mercy.

He explained that “the venue is symbolic because we want the Church to remember those who have most need of God’s love and mercy – namely the prisoners themselves. The Holy Father calls us to be merciful to others just as God is merciful to us.”

The walk was an initiative of the Conference of Religious Major Superiors and organised by Jesuit Fr Colin Tan and some volunteers who served as group leaders.

Wheelchair-bound Bernard Peter Ting also joined the group.Wheelchair-bound Bernard Peter Ting also joined the group. The mini pilgrimage started with an opening prayer by Fr Colin, who prayed that the whole Church will experience an outpouring of God’s mercy during this jubilee year. He further encouraged the pilgrims to pray during the walk for their loved ones who are held captive by their own addictions and afflictions.

Despite the heat, humidity and ominous-looking clouds, participants said it was a good spiritual experience.

“It was a very sacred time where all of us walked in unison for a good cause and everyone in the group took out their rosaries and prayed in silence,” said Ms P S Lee, a teacher who came with a group of friends.

“It was also a good time of bonding after the rosary as we chatted and got to know new friends.”

Wheelchair-bound Bernard Peter Ting, who also joined the group, summed up the experience: “It’s the Spirit that brought us here.”

The Year of Consecrated Life, which overlaps with the recently launched Year of Mercy, started on Nov 30, 2014, and will end on Feb 2, 2016.

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