BY Amanda Connelly | September 1 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

6-WHITHORN

Mass by the sea for pilgrims to Whithorn

Catholics in Galloway followed in the footsteps of Scotland’s first saint as they joined together for their annual diocesan pilgrimage to Whithorn and St Ninian’s Cave.

Catholics in Galloway followed in the footsteps of Scotland’s first saint as they joined together for their annual diocesan pilgrimage to Whithorn and St Ninian’s Cave.

Around 600 pilgrims from across Galloway Diocese made the journey to where St Ninian founded his church, spending time at the Whithorn experience exhibition, and celebrating Mass on the beach by St Ninian’s   cave, where the saint would retreat to pray.

The weather prevailed as Bishop William Nolan celebrated Mass on the beach, along with other members of clergy from across the dioceses of ­Galloway and Motherwell.

The bishop reminded the faithful about remaining joyful like Jesus and said that to share the Gospel message they need to do so in joyfulness.

The entire diocesan community rallied together in ­preparation for the day, with the music liturgy provided by ­parishioners of St Teresa’s in Dumfries, while the 91st ­Ayrshire Scouts group, based     at St Joseph’s in Kilmarnock, ­travelled a day ahead of the ­pilgrimage.

Around 20 scouts made safe pathways for pilgrims down through the glen and along the pebbled beach, as well as setting up the altar and canopy on the stones by the sea and acting as ushers for the hundreds who gathered there that day.

“It was an uplifting Mass,” Fr Stephen McGrattan, parish priest of St Joseph’s, Kilmarnock and St Paul’s, Hurlford, said. “It’s a real pilgrimage because it takes a lot of effort to get there. But there’s always a great ­camaraderie, and a sense of belonging to something bigger: the Diocese of Galloway and the Universal Church.”

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