From the Deputy Head of College, Patrick Brennan
Welcome back to the entire College community for Term Four.
Over the past three weeks Ms Geraldine Cullen our Social Justice Coordinator and I attended a pilgrimage which worked its way from Ireland to India with other leaders from the Edmund Rice Education organisation across Australia and New Zealand.
‘Journeying with Edmund: From Ireland to India’ as it was titled was an exciting opportunity to walk the pilgrim’s path around Ireland and immerse in India’s diverse cultures, rich spirituality and extreme poverty where Edmund’s charism has found life in a variety of forms. Charism, which can be described as an insight into the Gospel that meets the needs of the time, is an ever evolving thing. During our journey we explored the ways in which Edmund’s charism and the Gospel call have led women and men to build a world where all may live well. This year’s journey evolved from that of previous years. We began in Ireland where we walked in the footsteps of Blessed Edmund Rice and then followed the journey of the Brothers in 1848 in traveling across continents and oceans to a very different and challenging world.
Our journey together was more than a traditional pilgrimage in the footsteps of Edmund Rice but an experience that aimed at holding past and present together. Together we walked the pilgrim’s path. We were not the first, nor will we be the last to do this. We added our footsteps to a path that is well worn and also creating new paths others will follow long after we walked by. The journey we made as pilgrims allowed us to sense fully the places that have given rise to our Edmund Rice spirit today. The spirit of our Edmund Rice ancestors were with us as we journeyed together and through this experience we enliven this spirit within us and in our own Edmund Rice inspired place, Waverley College, on our return.
Joyce Rupp, writing about the Camino de Santiago, offers an insight into what it means to be a pilgrim. ‘To be a pilgrim is to be willing to live with the mystery of what will happen both interiorly and exteriorly as one walks day after day after day toward the destination of the sacred site. What happens inside cannot be planned or mapped out in the same way that the physical route is mapped. Becoming a pilgrim means there are no maps of the heart . . . In being a pilgrim, the journey itself is of prime importance.’