Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. – Psalm 84:5
I love this verse from Psalm 84 because it captures the essence of what happens during our youth pilgrimage: our youth find tangible, visible, palpable ways to experience God through each other, through the amazing art and architecture, through the stories of the saints in whose footsteps we will walk and so many other ways. I have seen it happen many, many times on the 10 youth pilgrimages I’ve led in my ministry. The one that will begin with a send-off Holy Eucharist, my eleventh pilgrimage, excites me as much as all of them. I’ve known many of the rising eleventh and twelfth graders since they were babies and they have prepared for this for many years. They are ready.
This Sunday, the nine members of our 2019 Pilgrim Class, their adult leaders, and our Priest-in-Charge will receive the “Gifts of Pilgrimage,” outward and visible symbols and tools to enable these pilgrims to grow in grace and in their relationships with God and Jesus. As we walk this Holy Pilgrimage together through London, Canterbury, and Northern France we will concentrate on growing community and being present in each sacred place we visit. Our purpose is to gain the conviction that comes from walking the paths of the saints who spread the gospel and built the foundations of our faith. As we board our flight to Chicago on June 24, and then on to London, we take each of you with us in the ancient tradition of praying for you and taking your prayers with us to offer at these holy sites on Pilgrimage. This parish family has helped us so much in making this sacred journey happen; we want to take your prayers to Canterbury Cathedral, Cathedral of Notre Dame in Chartres, and Sacré Coeur in Paris to offer for you. Please email your prayers to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all so much for your support, love and prayers,
Lyn Holt, Director of Youth Formation