For Liverpool’s Knights of Saint Columba, the centenary year of the foundation of our Order ended, quite fittingly, with a pilgrimage to the Hebridean island of Iona. It was there, after all, that our patron St Columba arrived from Ireland in the year 563 to spread the Gospel in Scotland and further afield.
A party of over 50 – including members, their families and friends – travelled to Loch Awe up in the Highlands and islands of Scotland on 28 September and spent the next four days in this beautiful area, concluding our visit with the trip to Iona. There, Mass was celebrated by Father Bernard Forshaw, parish priest of St Anne’s, Rock Ferry and St John’s, New Ferry, who had accompanied us on the pilgrimage and is former chaplain to the Wirral-based KSC council 51.
Fr Bernard also said Mass for us at our hotel in Loch Awe and concelebrated Mass with Monsignor James McNeill, parish priest and administrator at St Columba’s Cathedral, Diocese of Argyll and the Isles.
We thank Mgr McNeill for the warm welcome we received at this Mass on Sunday 29 September and for the refreshments provided after Mass for such a large party. Our photo shows the whole group together after Mass, with Fr Forshaw and Mgr McNeill in the centre.
On Tuesday 1 October we set out for Iona, boarding the ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull and then crossing Mull by coach to the port of Fionnphort where we took another ferry for the short passage to Iona.
By prior arrangement we attended Mass at Iona’s House of Prayer celebrated by Fr Bernard. For all of us, it was a very inspiring and uplifting occasion, and we thank Fr Bernard for celebrating the Mass for us and for leading us in prayers for special intentions. We also thank the administrators of the House of Prayer for the arrangements they made for us to enjoy a very special and memorable experience in the unique and historic setting of Iona.
A final word of thanks goes to Bro Pat Foley, former provincial grand knight, who planned and organised the pilgrimage so meticulously.
Websites: www.ksc.org.uk /www.kscprov02.weebly.com