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Pilgrim families reunited

MATRIARCH Mary Doogan ensured before her death last October that her Irish-Scottish grandchildren shared in the World Youth Day (WYD08) experience with their Australian cousins.

Mary’s grandchildren Catherine-Mary, Louise and Martin McErlean arrived from Scotland on June 25 for a month-long visit with cousins Ciara and Taidhg, of Carina in Brisbane’s east.

Their stay so far has included participation in the Days in the Diocese program as well as the Youth Arise conference, all in preparation for the continued pilgrimage to Sydney for WYD08 this week.

Along with their mother Dorothy, who arrived as “a surprise pilgrim” on July 4, the teenagers will join in a farewell liturgy in Our Lady of Graces Church tonight with their aunty (Dorothy’s sister) and pilgrimage co-ordinator for Brisbane East Deanery Catherine Retford.

Catherine’s husband Les will also join in “the family pilgrimage” to Sydney.

Describing her mother, who was born in Ireland but lived in Scotland, as “a very devout Catholic with a lovely faith”, Dorothy said the 81-year-old matriarch was instrumental in ensuring the cousins “could take the pilgrimage together”.

“Our parish (of Corpus Christi in Glasgow) sponsored others to come over,” Dorothy said.

“But it was Mum who offered the financial help. She would be so pleased to know her wish was granted.”

About 3000 Brisbane pilgrims will journey to Sydney for World Youth Day festivities, including the Papal Mass next Sunday, while Toowoomba diocese is sending 300, Cairns 155, Townsville 407 and Rockhampton 300.

WYD08 starts on Tuesday (July 15) and continues until next Sunday.

Written by: Staff writers
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