The second Edmund Rice Walk organised by the Christian Brothers Vocations Group took place in Waterford on Saturday, 13th May. The group that gathered in Mount Sion was smaller than last year but that didn’t impinge on the enjoyment of the day. There was a large contingent from O’ Connell Schools led by Br. Pat Madigan and we were also joined by visiting Christian Brothers from India and Newfoundland. We were also joined by Br. Peadar Gleeson of the Mount Sion Community. Br. Donal Leader was busy with the video camera and during the day he conducted some interviews with the participants.
The day started with a welcome cuppa, a visit to the Edmund Rice Museum and a reflection led by Br. Phil Ryan. Br. John Hearne led us in the first half of the day. He guided us around Waterford City and showed us many of the locations associated with Edmund Rice – the site of his business premises, his home and where he built his first school before moving to Mount Sion. It was a very enjoyable and informative tour. While I have visited Waterford City many times I was unfamiliar with the places associated with Edmund Rice.
We returned to Mount Sion for lunch where Geraldine and her team fed us soup, fresh sandwiches and beautiful apple and rhubarb pie. It was a welcome treat after all the walking. Br. Phil Ryan led the second part of the day which was a walk in the Eco Park in Kilbarry. The park is situated on a remediated landfill site which closed in 2005.
Waterford Eco Park is about 150 acres and is an oasis within the city environment. It has a 2km walkway as well as a series of walkways which cross the park, and the paths are a mixture of tar macadam paths, paths mown through the meadow and gravel paths. It’s very popular for walking, jogging and cycling. From the summit of the Park there is a wonderful view of Waterford City and its surrounding area.
The more enthusiastic walkers in the group enjoyed this part of the day. I had to leave the group after the first circuit in order to attend another event. My total step count for the day was 18,500 which equates to about 12K. Later in the day the group returned to Mount Sion for the final reflection and blessing. It was a very pleasant day walking in the footsteps of Edmund Rice, chatting and sharing stories, renewing friendships and meeting new people. Thanks to the Mount Sion Community for their welcome and hospitality.
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