The current Pilgrim Class has chosen a different path for their Holy Pilgrimage. We will begin in London, travel to Canterbury, cross the Channel to Bayeux and the beaches of Normandy, Mont St. Michel, Chartres, and finally, Paris. Having 18 years of experience leading youth pilgrimages, I prefer not to engage a tour company, but to plan our Pilgrimages so we can make it our own. Because of this new location, I’m starting from scratch in the planning.
I’ve found an excellent book, “The Pilgrim’s France,” by James and Colleen Heater, whose forward is written by my favorite pilgrimage author, Phil Cousineau. In it, he relates a story about being in the beautiful Chartres Cathedral when an older French gentleman asks him, “Can you help me find God?” Cousineau simply points to the labyrinth on the floor of this magnificent place, where a beam of sunlight shone directly on the center of the labyrinth. This labyrinth is a symbol for the long and winding road of the soul, the path that leads in and out of the center of our lives. It is there, in the center of our journey, that we find God.
The labyrinth and pilgrimage are sacred metaphors for our life with God, giving us the time to connect or reconnect with God as we wind through life, reminding us always to seek the center – God’s heart. This class will have the privilege of walking this very labyrinth, constructed in the early 13th century, and copied throughout the world. The class’s adult volunteer leaders, who’ve been with them throughout their teens, Fr. Jacob, and I will walk with them on this journey to the center and out again, into the world, taking God in all of our hearts.
We are so grateful to the parish for giving us the privilege to have this journey and the time away to connect with God and Christian saints of old in this very specific way. We want to invite all parishioners to join us for our “Saint Pierre’s Spaghetti Dinner” and Silent Auction on Saturday, March 16 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., so we can share fellowship and food with you before we set off on this sacred Pilgrimage on June 24.
Lyn Holt,Director of Youth Formation