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Fr. Michael Mifsud, Club Chaplain

Quite a few of us have turned fifty years of age. It celebrates an important stage in life and growth. This applies also to a group such as the Catholic Walking Club. The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that ‘There’s a time for every purpose under heaven’ (ch 3).

Now is a time for remembering with gratitude past walks, past friends and fellow walkers and a past innocence in our understanding of the bush, nature and the earth. This last mentioned matter now urgently re-directs our attention to present action for the sake of the future of all here concerned, bush and bushwalkers and nature lovers worldwide.

Tony Groom, son of the author Arthur Groom, says in the preface of his father’s book, One mountain After Another: ‘The wilderness has the power to soothe, to calm, to restore and to recreate.’ Surely to know such things is to the believer to experience God’s presence in creation.

The Catholic Walking Club has offered a wonderful opportunity, over the years, for people to enjoy and wonder at this land’s unique beauty and to foster deep lasting friendships. It has created a space for people to share their thoughts, feelings and lives in a Christian atmosphere of love and respect for people and creation.

In the time I’ve been associated with the Club, I have always found the members open, welcoming and friendly to all comers. The Club still retains its Catholic universal openness to people of all persuasions who share similar values and interests.

I believe the Club has an indispensable part to ply in promoting Christian and spiritual values in the current world-wide awakening to the precarious state of the natural world. I believe we can offer hope, service, respect and love to the prophetic environmental movements which abound today.

Our Christian, local contribution is most necessary for a balanced and complete picture in the care for the earth and all God-created species who share his goodness and show forth his glory to us all.

I believe all members will join me at this time to thank God for past joys and achievements and shared sorrows as well as pray and work for the preservation and well-being of the earth an all things that ‘God saw was good’ and that we too have been privileged to see as good. May future generations see the same.