Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage 2023
21 July 2023

Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage - Ms Andrea Knight

Seventeen Mercy schools from across the country, either in person or remotely, participated in the inaugural Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage in Melbourne. We started our pilgrimage by coming together in prayer with a liturgy and adding our soil and a stone from our homeland. We were called to walk humbly with love and respect in our hearts, hands and head as we work towards reconciliation for all who call this Great Southern Land home.

We had the opportunity to share our stories of Mercy. We talked in detail about the stories of Catherine McAuley and Ursula Frayne.

On Day two we heard from Sister Cathy Solarno and her thoughts on how we encounter and engage diversity. We listened to speakers from Mercy Works and Young Mercy Links and heard about the wonderful work these two groups are doing around the world.

Our final speaker on Day two was Maddie Kelly who has recently returned to Australia having worked in Tanzania at the School of St Judes. Our students were deeply moved by this presentation.

On our final day, we were invited to explore what might be some actions of Mercy and Love that our school community can adopt. We concluded with celebrating Mass together.

Over the three days we were invited to encounter and experience Mercy. We forged lasting friendships with others, and our hearts were truly touched with the presence of God.

Student Reflection - Iona Kerry Year 11

Before we left for the pilgrimage, I was asked how I felt about embarking on a journey to places I had not been, and with people I had not met. My response at the time was that I felt excited to be living the spirit of Mercy adventure, and also intrigued to see what kind of person I would be on my return. Needless to say, my heart was touched and inspired throughout the pilgrimage experience.

My lasting sensation now that it has come to an end is to feel a great deal of gratitude and admiration for those who go about their daily lives, serving as a person of Mercy. From my experience on the pilgrimage, I feel inspired to embed the Mercy values more deeply into my own life, and to instil them within my community.

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