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Sketches of pilgrimages themes: preparation, building community, music ministry, prayer activities ...Service on an Ignatian Pilgrimage: July 25-August 8, 2009

Pilgrimage Route.In July 2009 Claire Thedrez fcJ and Cornelia Vîrgâ fcJ accompanied a group of young adults on an Ignatian pilgrimage from Loyola to Javier, Spain. 

The pilgrimage group was large and necessitated good organisation.  Between pilgrims and support teams there were about 190 people altogether.  It was truly international with the pilgrims themselves being mostly from France, Spain, Brazil, and Italy.  On the first day, which was in Loyola, the group celebrated their internationality with foods from different places.    Many regional foods were on offer, some had been brought from far away and some was made locally.  This was an important time for getting to know each other and was when the pilgrims were told their groups.  These ‘base groups’ were important.  It was in these groups that the pilgrims walked, prayed and reflected together each day.  Each had a different colour and this helped in several organisational ways.

The pilgrimage handbook was used each day for prayer and reflection.

The organising groups met ahead of the pilgrims to share and plan and  get to know each other.  Each day was structured and every evening the teams were given details about the following day’s schedule, the route and which team was in charge of meal preparation, transport etc.

Cornelia and Claire were both members of the support team. There were several different teams. They did not walk with the pilgrims and their task was to make daily life easier and smoother for the pilgrims.   They looked after a ‘hundred and one things’ arriving in a place before the pilgrims and leaving after them. They ensured the luggage was colour coded and was placed in the right lodgings. They prepared and cleaned places for the pilgrims before their arrival and ensured everything was left in good order.  They organised refreshments and social activities such as sports and music.

 

Claire Thedrez fcJ reflects on the pilgrimage:

I found the pilgrimage a time of renewal and of spiritual deepening
It was a time of creation,  - a time of life in the making

It was like a flowing river
          a running river
                    a river that changes its course to find a channel
          around rocks and boulders
                            a river that was never blocked

Sometimes the river was wide,
                At other times the flow was more confined
                        but always the river flowed
                               always dynamic ,
                    a river that  never stopped flowing

The daily experience of this pilgrimage changed and renewed me.
It was a daily ‘parcours’
it was a  challenge to adapt to the unexpected.

                At times ‘the river ran peacefully,
                         At others it was more of a torrent.   
                               It pushed me,  it carried me  
                         but always it was a source of strength.

Magnificent beauty unfolded along the route
        Sometimes there was beauty in ‘desert’,
        There was beauty in the loneliness
        There was beauty in the companionship given each other
           The difficulties were a source of unexpected beauty
    Truly God was in all things

This pilgrimage experience was an opportunity.

to go through the open door
to experience  our world,
       with its  beauty and diversity,

                                Chapter Decree 2008

 

 

Loyola Sanctuary and Church i Javier.

Cornelia Virga fcJ writes:

Manresa 2009 - o experienţă unică şi de neuitat

Un pelerinaj organizat de RJI(Reseau Jeunesse Ignacienne) timp de 15 zile, de la Hendaye-Franţa spre Loyola şi Javier-Spania împreună cu 190 de tineri. Fiecare cu acceaşi dorinţă de a trăi o experienţă spirituală şi un timp de prietenie şi veselie.

La acest pelerinaj am participat şi eu. După un an de studiu si sesiune de examene, am plecat spre Hendaye cu dorinţa de a-l sluji ce celălalt. Două săptămâni pentru a face parte din echipa“Service„ şi astfel să dau o mână de ajutor pentru ca participanţii la acest pelerinaj să aibă un timp cât mai bun.

Au fost 15 zile de mers pe jos. Aceasta ne-a permis să descoperim peisaje minunate şi să ne bucuram de ele. In fiecare zi prin cântecele şi rugăciunea noastră i-am mulţumit şi l-am lăudat pe Dumnezeu prezent în creaţia din jurul nostru.

View of Manresa and Coming down from the Mountain.Multe ocazii ne-au permis să împărtăşim unii altora experienţele personale şi aceasta ne-a apropiat şi ne-a îmbogăţit pe fiecare.

Am plecat în acest pelerinaj cu dorinţa de a oferi din energia şi timpul de vacanţă celorlalti, pentru ca ei să se bucure pe deplin de acest pelerinaj.

Acum, când mă gândesc la acest timp, pot să spun că a fost o adevărată Aventură în care am primit mult mai mult decât am dăruit.

Cred că, oriunde ai fi şi orice ai face,
cu cât dăruieşti mai mult cu atât primeşti mai mult.
Am trăit aceasta la Manresa şi a fost extraordinar.

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La nostra piccola Società ha come fine
     di glorificare il cuore di Gesù
           con ogni mezzo in suo potere ...     (Marie Madeleine)