ARCHBISHOP John Bathersby of Brisbane led a mini pilgrimage to the top of Mt Tibrogargan in the Glasshouse Mountains recently, in preparation for the World Youth Day pilgrimage in August.
The pilgrims will climb Mt Sinai in the Holy Land on their way to Rome for what is expected to be the largest World Youth Day to date.
On June 24, a group of seven young people and the archbishop left from the bottom of Mt Tibrogargan for the challenge of rockface climbing. The travelling was slow with many of the group climbing rockfaces for the first time. All were surprised at the archbishop’s ability to scale cliffs so quickly.
Malcolm Hart, one of the World Youth Day pilgrimage leaders, participated in the climb. “The climb was the best. It was exciting, it was challenging, it was breathtaking, and thank God, it was warm at the top. The sun was out, it was a great day, to see the ocean and the bush,” he said. “You can really feel the essence of Australia from a place like that.”
At the top of the mountain the archbishop led a prayer for the Anglican Synod and the backpacker tragedy in Childers.
Climbing back down was another situation all together. New mountain climbing styles were invented including a unique one by Rachel Leong from Toowong parish. “I don’t want to be unique, I just want to get down,” she said on one difficult section of the descent.
Olivia Swinton from Upper Mt Gravatt parish said she felt like she really accomplished something. “I can face anything now. It was an amazing experience,” Olivia said. “It was a great opportunity to get to know the archbishop and some of the others travelling with me to Rome.”
With only a month to go until the pilgrimage begins, all are starting to feel a tinge of excitement and anxiety but this climb helped them prepare a little more.
“I really faced my fears climbing that mountain. My legs turned to jelly but I just loved it. It was such an exhilarating experience,” Olivia said.
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