Article: "Corkman Hikes for God this Easter"
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This article on Scottish Cross appeared in Irish Examiner - County Cork on 13th April 2004. The text is reproduced below.
A Cork-based credit controller employed by a US company spent the lead-up to Easter Sunday carrying a cross 60 miles through Scotland.
Ray commins from Blackrock in Cork, joined his fellow cross-bearers in Dalmally in the west of Scotland on the Tuesday of Holy Week - they had already been carrying the cross from one end of the West Highland Way.
Walking 15 miles a day, the 'pilgrims' met the other half of their contingent at Oban, before taking the ferry to the Island of Mull where they carried the cross for another two days until Holy Saturday, whereupon they set off for the island of Iona off the far west coast of Scotland
The 100-mile Scottish Cross Pilgrimage was founded by Alan Riley and Anothong O'Mahony in 1997, the yeat of the 1400th anniversary of the death of the founder of Iona Abbey, St. Columba, and so an ideal year to begin a pilgrimage.
Ray Cummins, a 33-year-old former cleric who spent four years studying for the priesthood with the Kiltegan Fathers, learned of the pilgrimage through the Cork Backpackers, of which he is a member
"I love hiking and I have a lot of time for God, so this caught my eye. The ecumenical nature of it also attracted me and I think it's a great preparation for Easter Sunday", he says.
This is Ray's second year undertaking the pilfrimage: participants take it in turns to carry the cross with three people at a time bearing it - two at the front and one at the back. "It's not that tough. I'm fiarly fit and a good part of it in on the flat - there are only a couple of places where you go up high. What I found difficult was the heat - walking for ten or eleven hours in 25 degrees heat can be pretty difficult", he says.
Last year, Ray's fellow cross-bearer included a Hungarian surgeon, London housewives, a member of a religious order from Germany and professors from Edinburgh University.
For more information, log onto http://www.scottishcross.org.uk/.