November is the month that we remember those who have gone before us, and parishioners at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish, Alice Springs celebrated the Feast of All Souls with a prayerful Memorial Walk from the parish to the Old Telegraph Station, just outside of town.
Parish Priest Fr Jan Szweda SVD, Indigenous Chaplain and Acting District Superior Fr Mikhael Loke SVD and OTP Seminarian Paul Aquino joined the parishioners on the Memorial Walk, during which the whole group prayed for those who have died.
“The walk was done in a prayerful environment,” Fr Mikhael says. “The purpose of the walk is to remember and pray for all the faithful departed who have gone to eternal life.”
Fr Mikhael says this was the second year that parishioners have held the Memorial Walk. It started out as a way to actively remember a much-loved member and dedicated Eucharistic Minister of the parish community who had died.
“Some of the people just wanted to remember him by doing some activity where the people could gather together. And someone came up with the idea of doing a Remembrance Walk,” he says. “And then we extended it to remember everybody who has died, especially as November is the month of All Souls.”
The walk started with a short gathering and prayers at the front of the OLSH Church before the group proceeded to the Old Telegraph Station, located about 3km east of Alice Springs.
The Telegraph Station, located on the land of the Arrernte people, was established in 1872 to relay messages between Darwin and Adelaide. It operated for 60 years and then served as a school for Aboriginal children. It has now been preserved as a reserve for all to use.
“When we got to the Old Telegraph Station, we gathered there and closed with a prayer and then we all had breakfast there,” Fr Mikhael says.
“Afterwards, people either walked or drove back to town and took part in the 11am morning Mass.
“It was really good. We just had time to spend together and remember the departed souls and to make the walk in a prayerful way.”