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Mercy Pilgrimage 2015

To the heart of Mercy

On Saturday 11 July our group of pilgrims from Victoria and Perth set down in Dublin. From the airport we took a tour of Dublin by bus to see the city and its architecture, including a visit to the beautiful St Patrick’s Cathedral.

After a couple of days sightseeing, we attended the Young Mercy Leaders’ Conference held at the Mercy International Centre on Baggot Street and St Conleth’s School in Dublin. We learnt about the amazing life of Catherine McAuley. Sisters of Mercy have taken inspiration from Catherine’s phenomenal work and have spread their love and mercy throughout every corner of the globe to those who need it most, keeping Catherine’s spirit alive in the work they do. Around 150 people attended the conference from America, Belize, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. We did a range of workshops, such as Mindfulness Meditation, the United Nations, Human Trafficking and ways of expressing yourself through prayer, breathing and dancing.

One of the main things we took home from the conference was that there are many ways that Mercy can be used for good in the world and put into action through social justice initiatives. Watching the Sisters, seeing the grace and love with which they meet every day and every person, has opened our eyes to a whole new way of living and nothing but this experience could have taught us that.

Following the conference, we travelled to Italy. We visited many ancient sites in Rome and Florence, with some light shopping and gelato eating along the way! A special experience was hearing Mass said wholly in Italian at Santa Maria Maggiore and visiting the Vatican on our final day.

The close friendships we made were one of the most rewarding aspects of the trip and we look forward to meeting again soon.

Gabrielle Henthorn, Jack Duckett and Benjamin O'Brien