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Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage

1 December 2017

Southern

Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage

Last July nine students (five from St Mary’s Secondary School, Mallow, two from Mount St Michael Secondary School, Rosscarbery and two from Mount Mercy College, Cork) took part in the Young Mercy Leaders (YML) Pilgrimage in the Mercy International Centre, Baggot St, Dublin. They were accompanied by Angela Fleming, Nuala O Gorman, Brid Biggane and Anne Maria O’Carroll.

Angela was involved in giving tours of the house while the other Mercy Sisters acted as chaperones. Aisling O’Connor from Mallow, who took part in the pilgrimage as a 5th year student in 2013 and now studying in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick was a chaperone in this year’s Pilgrimage. Patricia Walsh facilitated the plenary sessions and led sessions of the workshop on Mindfulness.



104 second level students in all attended the YML Pilgrimage and for the first time since the pilgrimage started in 2011 half of them were Irish. The others came from Melbourne, Sydney and Perth in Australia, from Omaha Nebraska, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, St Louis, New York and Illinois in The US, from Belize in Central America and from Liverpool.

The theme of this year’s pilgrimage was: Mercy is our Badge of Honour. It was based on Catherine’s Instruction to her Sisters: “Let Charity be our badge of honour…so that it may truly be said there is in us but one heart and one soul in God”.

Each day began with a Reflective Prayer time in the Chapel. The story of the Good Samaritan provided inspiration and challenge for all of us - Mercy notices and Mercy acts.

Over the four days everyone got to hear Michele O’Kelly RSM (South Central Province) address the topic of Mercy and Leadership and Angela Reed RSM (Australia) focused on the issue of Human Trafficking. All pilgrims rotated through a number of workshops on Mindfulness, Art, Discernment and Mime.
Other highlights of the week were a Taize Prayer session in the chapel, the walk through Dublin in the footsteps of Catherine and a guided tour of the house. We were blessed with gifted musicians Patricia O’Donovan, Frances Kennedy and Marie Cox who lifted our spirits with their joyous strains each time we gathered for prayer.

The final day was devoted to Action Planning. Each delegation worked on possible actions they would focus on after they returned to their schools in September. The Southern Province suggested projects were to:

  1. Support the mission in Peru by fundraising to provide scholarships for young women who cannot afford to go to college.
  2. Visit older people in their homes and nursing homes.
  3. Fundraise for Wellsprings Care and After Care Residential service for young women (Cork).
  4. Promote the above projects and share the experience of the Pilgrimage at the Mercy Day Mass.



Brid Biggane RSM
Southern Province

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