Laoag bishop leads 8-day walk, visits Ilocos Norte’s pilgrim churches

LAOAG CITY — Bishop Renato Mayugma, 60, is on walking pilgrimage tour just in time for the Holy Week celebration next week.

Walking for six days now, the Laoag bishop along with 12 companions composed of deacons, priests, seminarians and members of the Diocesan youth had been walking around the province of Ilocos Norte since March 9 and ends on March 16, Wednesday.

Initiated by Mayugba, the spiritual pilgrimage is meant to have the opportunity to pray and meet with church members and others along the way. Parishioners are also invited to join him as he will have a stop over in at least 13 declared pilgrimage churches of the Diocese of Laoag where he will have public speaking sessions on giving mercy.

Declared as the extraordinary jubilee year of Mercy by Pope Francis, this year enjoins the faithful to reflect and meditate, focusing particularly on God’s forgiveness and mercy.

The Year of Mercy called for by the Pope is the third “extraordinary” jubilee since the tradition began 700 years ago. It was launched during the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 and it will end on the Solemnity of Christ the King on November 20, 2016.

As early as 4:00 in the morning, the walking pilgrimage started at the Paoay church as the Laoag bishop and his group walked through the Batac-Banna road the next day. Then, the group proceeded to churches in Marcos, Dingras, Sarrat, Vintar, Bacarra, Pasuquin and then back to the St. William Cathedral in Laoag for the culminating activity.

As of press time, Mayugba’s group is already in Pasuquin town on their way to Davila church and then back to Laoag on Wednesday.

Steady support vehicles including paramedics from the government sector are also in support of the Laoag bishop pilgrimage.

Of the more than 500,000 population of Ilocos Norte, majority belong to the Roman Catholic faith. PNA /