August 01, 2018

Day 2 of YML Pilgrimage: Another Great Day was had by all!

Day Two of YML Pilgrimage 2018 brought with it an overcast sky. And by midday the rain came.  After an unusually long, very hot Summer, we wouldn't complain because Ireland needs rain after suffering 'absolute drought'. The rain stopped for the afternoon —an answer to prayer—which was perfect for the Mercy Race around Catherine's Dublin. More of that later.

Arrival and Early morning activities at Baggot Street

Pilgrims had been asked to wear their 'Mercy begins with Me' T-shirts today. They looked great! Check out the Gwynedd Mercy group. The day commenced with an Opening Prayer and Reflection. The theme was The Beatitudes, the focus Catherine Callaghan's witness of the works of Mercy. Once again we were delighted by the music: 'Blest are They' (David Haas) and 'How can anyone ever tell you?'(Libby Roderick).The theme led very well into the keynote address.

Opening Prayer and Reflection in the Chapel

Angela Reed rsm, MIA-MGA Coordinator at the UN, gave this morning's keynote address on the theme of the pilgrimage 'Mercy begins with Me'. 

She addressed 6 questions in her talk: 
1. What is the experience for Earth and people?
2. Who am I and where do I place myself in this ever evolving world?
3. What tools do I have for advocacy?
4. Whom do I advocate for/with?
5. Who is with me on this justice journey?
6. What action does this justice journey lead me to?

Sr Angela challenged us all to develop in ourselves: a great sense of hope about the future and our world, the skills of critical thinking to navigate our world and a merciful heart as our way to be in the world.

Download Sr Angela's presentation here (9 pps, PDF).

The depth of her presentation which was very well received evoked questions and responses from the pilgrims and left us all with much to reflect upon as the 6 questions (above) indicate.

Following morning tea, pilgrims split into two groups for a workshop focussed on addressing human trafficking. Read more about the work of the Sisters of Mercy in this area here. Denise Boyle fmdm, Team Leader Mercy Global Action facilitated the group in the International Room while John P. (JP) O’ Sullivan, the Research, Network and Communications staff member at MECPATHS (Mercy Efforts for Child Protection Against Trafficking with the Hospitality Sector) facilitated a group in the Doyle room. Read more about MECPATHS work here.

Keynote and Workshops on Addressing Human Trafficking

The afternoon was devoted to the Mercy Race around Catherine's Dublin, a creative way for pilgrims to find their way around the city to visit places of importance in Catherine's story. Mixed teams of 4 visited 8 significant sites at each of which they were required to complete an activity under the direction of the chaperones/staff/volunteers who were stationed at each site.

Gallery: Photos taken by participants the the Mercy Race around Catherine's Dublin

Meeting Catherine McAuley at Stephen's Green

The finishing point for the Mercy Race was Stephen's Green. Pilgrims were surprised and delighted to be greeted by Catherine McAuley aka known as Karen Schneider rsm. Karen was dressed in the habit. Interestingly enough, in the hour or so we were at Stephen's Green, she was approached for conversation and with requests for prayers for ill relatives.

Catherine McAuley, Sr Sheila and the leaders from Carlow

The team that finished the Mercy race first was rewarded with a carriage ride with Catherine McAuley back to Baggot Street.

Pilgrims were given dinner vouchers for fish and chips from Beshoffs, the local excellent fish & chip shop, or for Freshii, the local health and wellness brand of nutritiuous food. By choice they returned to MIC for the evening prayer session.

Taize Prayer

An optional Taize Prayer session was held in the Chapel this evening led by our Mercy musicians Srs Patricia, Frances and Marie. This took place around the illuminated Cross in the chapel at 7pm. Some sat on cushions on the floor and others on chairs during the Taize chant. There was an opportunity for intercessory prayers and time to reverence the Cross for any who wished.

The Chapel was full and the glorious music and harmonies resounded through the house. The pilgrims left the Chapel in silence.

So ended today.

Read the report on Day Three

The programme runs until Friday night. You are invited to follow online the life and energy of these days with our daily updates on the website, on Facebook @mercyinternationalassociation and on Twitter using the hashtags @mercyworldwide and #YML2018.

Messages to: YML Communications Team: Elizabeth McNamee rsm and Anne Walsh

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