Pilgrimage to Ireland

Readers of this blog know that I often post photographs here from our family trip to Ireland in 2005.  My younger son is returning to that country for ten days, leaving today with a group of nine pilgrims from church.  He has been part of the Journey to Adulthood youth formation program that many Episcopal churches use, and for the last two years the group has been developing and articulating his understanding of Christian community and their place in that community.  The end of the program is marked by a spiritual pilgrimage together, and the pilgrims themselves decide (with some guidance from their mentors) where they will go.

Pilgrimage is intentional, holy travel - not to be confused with a mission trip or vacation or tour.  The pilgrims will visit several holy sites, and each day will include time for discussion, reflection (including journaling) and student-led night prayer (compline).   This group will visit places associated with St Kevin, St Kieran, and St Brigid as well as see other holy and historical sites in Ireland.   They will talk about community, about faith, and about their own seeking and finding God in their lives and all that such seeking and finding entails, including doubts, questions, new insights, and learning to trust God and one another.

They'll be posting on their blog each day.  If you'd like to follow along with me to see what a group of 16-year-old Episcopalians do when on pilgrimage, you can find it on my blog roll to the right - J2A Pilgrimage 2011: Ireland (or just click here.)  I'm sure they would appreciate your interest and also your prayers.


Perpetua said…
Penny, I'm a firm believer in the value and potential of pilgrimages, having just come back from one myself. The combination of visiting sites of such significance, fellowship and shared prayer and reflection can be life-changing. I've added myself as a follower and will follow with great interest.
Great! I took photographs of them at the airport this morning as they got ready to head out. I am glad you'll be following them, too!
Perpetua said…
They'll have a wonderful time, Penny. Ireland is so beautiful and because of its long Christian history, there's a deeply spiritual atmosphere at its historic sites. Our diocesan clergy school was held in Dublin once (a link between that diocese and our own Bangor diocese in Wales) and it was fantastic.
Yes, we went there in 2005 and I certainly felt that there were many thin places. It was a wonderful experience and son very much wanted his group to choose Ireland for their pilgrimage. Looking forward to seeing the first round of posts and pictures!