Day 4 of YML Pilgrimage: A Fitting Conclusion to a Wonderful Week
The rain returned this morning but it didn't dampen anyone's spirits. It has been a great week and it's hard to believe that today is the final day of the pilgrimage. So much has been experienced, enjoyed and completed in these days. It's certainly not the end, it is a new beginning...
The Day commenced with an Opening Prayer on the theme of Humility. The first hymn 'This is Holy Ground' reminded us of the place in which we gather, those who've walked here before us, those who rest here for eternity and our God who is always with us. The final hymn was the 'Suscipe', sung with feeling by all present.
The work of the morning was to develop personal action plans. What has the week challenged me to be and to do?
When pilgrims returned from lunch they found a 'pilgrim's trail' had been created down the centre of the International Room from the art pieces produced on Tuesday during reflection time.
The first activity to bring them back into the mood and to set the scene for the afternoon's work was to do the Pilgrim Dance which they had learned before lunch. The dance originated among Mercy Sisters in the Philippines and symbolises the taking of Mercy forward - as you will see in the video clip.
Action plans were presented to the whole group in the afternoon. Pilgrims first gathered in small groups and shared their personal action plans. They were then invited to present their plans to the whole group.
The day and the week closed with Mass during which there was a Ritual of Blessing and Sending forth.
Pilgrims prayed a prayer of commitment 'to be a sign of God's Mercy, by standing with the vulnerable and working for a world free from poverty, injustice and oppression'.
It has been a wonderful week: engaging activities, challenging moments, great memories.
We conclude our reporting of the 2018 pilgrimage by sharing this recording of an Irish blessing.
A Thiarna déan trócaire, A Thiarna déan trócaire
A Chríost déan trócaire, A Chríost déan trócaire.
Déan trócaire, déan trócaire, A Thiarna.
A Thiarna, A Thiarna, A Thiarna déan trócaire.'
A Thiarna déan trócaire is Irish for 'Lord have Mercy'. A Chríost déan trócaire is Irish for 'Christ have Mercy'.
Elizabeth McNamee rsm (The Congregation) read the blessings. These can be downloaded here (PDF)
As we sign off from pilgrimage reporting, we do so with the final words of the Irish blessings,
You are an important part of God's plan.
May God watch over you and keep you safe from harm.