To the Holy Door: A Pilgrimage of Mercy (December 13)

Holy Door

For over 500 years, the Pilgrimage to the Holy Door in one of the four great basilicas of Rome has been a principal sign of God’s mercy in specially proclaimed years of jubilee.

In the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has extended the opportunity of obtaining the plenary indulgence for Pilgrimage to the Holy Door to every Cathedral in every diocese of the world.

On Sunday 13th December, to inaugurate the Year of Mercy in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Archbishop Hart will open the Holy Door at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Parishes are being encouraged to organise pilgrimages – by foot, vehicle or public transport – to the Cathedral on this day.

My name is David Schütz, and I am inviting parishes in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne to join me for a walking pilgrimage to the Holy Door on Sunday 13th December.

I propose to walk from my home parish in Boronia along a path that will incorporate the beautiful trails along Dandenong Creek, Mullum Mullum Creek, Koonung Creek and Yarra Boulevard.

The last part of the pilgrimage will pass by Raheen, previously the residence of Archbishop Daniel Mannix. In his day, the Archbishop would often walk these last few kilometres to his office at St Patrick’s.

I invite individuals or groups of pilgrims to join me at whatever point along the trail they find manageable or convenient.

The aim is to arrive at St Patrick’s Cathedral in time for the Holy Hour of Adoration at 4pm to be led by Bishop Vincent Long. Confession will be available during this hour. Pilgrims who have not otherwise been able to attend Holy Mass on this day may do so at the regular 6:30pm mass in the Cathedral.

The pilgrimage is not a ‘guided tour’, nor a procession. Each pilgrim will be responsible for their own preparations and will need to carry their own food and water (approx. 3 litres for the whole day), as there are no shops along the bike trails.

For those doing a longer part of the pilgrimage, personal fitness will be assumed. The walking pace will average 4km/h including breaks and rests.

The itinerary and program of stops is given below. The times stated are times when the pilgrimage will be leaving that location. Anyone joining the pilgrimage at any of these points along the way must be at that point and ready to set off at the stated time.

If you would like to join me on the pilgrimage, or want more information about it, please contact me on 0400 978 938 or at

(Please note: the following times have been revised since the first posting)

Time Meeting point Route Distance remaining Distance to next stop
6:00am Leaving St Joseph’s Church, Boronia Rd, Boronia to Bayswater Belgrave Rail Trail 44.0 km 3.0 km
6:45am Leaving Station Street, Bayswater to Ringwood Dandenong Creek Trail & East Link trail 41.0 km 9.0 km


8:45am Leaving Sherbrook Park, Ringwood to Blackburn North Mullum Mullum Creek & Koonung Creek Trail 32.0 km 6.5 km
10:15am Leaving St Philips Church, Junction Road, Blackburn North to Box Hill Koonung Creek Trail 25.5 km 4.5 km
11:15pm Leaving Shanklin Street, Box Hill North Koonung Creek Trail 21.0 km 7.0 km
1:00pm Musca Street Reserve – Freeway tunnel to Yarra Boulevard Koonung Creek Trail

Main Yarra Trail

14.0 km 5.0 km
2:00pm Leaving from entrance to Yarra Boulevard, Chandler Highway, Kew to Boathouse Road Main Yarra Trail & Yarra Boulevard (Pass Raheen on this stretch) 9.0 km 4.5 km
3:00pm Leaving cnr Boathouse Road and Yarra Boulevard, Kew to St Patrick’s Cathedral (arrive 4:00pm for Holy Hour of Adoration) Yarra Boulevard, Gipps Street, Little Nicholson Street, Victoria Street, Albert Street 4.5 km 4.5 km



1. From St Joseph’s Church, Boronia Road, Boronia to Boronia Station, Lupton Way, Boronia

Leg 01

Continue along the Belgrave Rail Trail to Bayswater Station, Bayswater (1st Rest)

Leg 02

2. Along the Rail Trail onto the Dandenong Creek Trail to the Eastern Freeway.

Leg 03

Cross to the East Link Trail. Cross over Maroondah Hwy at Ringwood, continue Sherbrook Park (2nd Rest)

Leg 04

3. From Sherbrook Park, continue on East Link Trail onto Mullum Mullum Creek Trail

Leg 05

Cross under Springvale Road, and continue on Koonung Creek Trail to footbridge that crosses over East Link Freeway. Walk through to Junction Road and meet at St Philip’s Church (3rd Rest)

Leg 06

4. Leave St Philip’s Church, down Junction Road and Blackburn Road back onto Koonung Creek Trail. Continue to cnr Shanklin St, Box Hill North (4th Rest)

Leg 07

5. Leave Shanklin Street, cross under Station Street, and continue on Koonung Creek Trail to Musca Street Reserve, Balwyn North (5th Rest)

Leg 08

6. Cross under Eastern Freeway and Bourke Road onto the Main Yarra Trail to Chandler Hwy, Kew (6th Rest)

Leg 09

7. Cross under Chandler Hwy, and continue on Main Yarra Road to Yarra Boulevard. Continue on Yarra Blvd path.

Leg 10

Continue on Yarra Blvd path, past the back of Raheen, to Boathouse Drive (7th Rest)

Leg 11

8. Continue on Yarra Blvd, cross Yarra River at Gipps Street, down Little Nicholson Street to Victoria Street.

Leg 12

Final stretch along Victoria Street, Albert Street, through Fitzroy Gardens and to the Holy Door at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Leg 13