18 November 2021

Journey Pilgrimage 2021

Article by Mr Jarryd Atkinson

Journey Pilgrimage 2021

"Ite Inflammate Omnia” (Go forth, and set the world on Fire) - these words were used by Saint Ignatius to commission his Jesuits before sending them out to the far reaches of the world to explore, educate, share and guide.

These very words were echoed during our opening liturgy at the beginning of our Pilgrimage across the Bellarine - it placed an invitation before all of our pilgrims to be aware of the world around them, to inspire all and to invigorate change - not only during the physical pilgrimage, but beyond in the emotional, spiritual and mental pilgrimages to follow.

Our pilgrims were invited to explore and take in the beautiful country of the Wadawurrung Peoples, to understand their own innate connection to these lands and seas.

Our pilgrims also set out to expand their knowledge and wisdom in regards to their sense of self, sense of faith and of community.

Our pilgrims shared in prayer, reflection and contemplation, conversation and companionship, and even shared in their moments of rest and moments of energy.

Most importantly, our pilgrims set out to guide each other, whether it be through their example and inclusion, or even through the powerful liturgies constructed by each class group, each focused on a different element or source of inspiration.

With each footstep on our almost 10 kilometre journey, we inched closer and closer to our “end-point” - not so much the physical end point of jumping on the bus and returning home, but more so the “Spiritual Checkpoint” where we get to stop, turn around and take in the path behind us - observe all of the moments of joy and consolation, but also acknowledge the moments of challenge and desolation along the way.

"Last week we attended a pilgrimage to Queenscliff. We took these hours of walking to reflect and talk to one another about our journeys with God. We spent time with each other and grew our relationships not only with God but with our peers. At certain locations we took a couple minutes for a few students to stand up the front and share different stories and reflections" - Giselle and Jorja, Year 9 Journey

"During the lead-up to our Pilgrimage, I was consumed with excitement and was longing for this experience. At the resolution of this momentous embark I fulfilled my expectation and realised that by partaking in this journey, a hidden meaning arose, which was the concept that it's not about the voyage or the path you walk but rather the print you leave behind." - Jack, Year 9 Journey

"My experience from last Thursday was amazing with being able to talk to friends and also go on a faith journey. The walk was fun and good to talk and be with faith at the same time." - Luke, Year 9 Journey

"I really liked the pilgrimage we went on, I enjoyed where we walked because of the scenery and enjoyed spending time with mates and I liked all the different liturgies that were told." - Harry, Year 9 Journey

Our hope is that our Pilgrims will not hang up the boots yet - that this is only the first step in a lifelong journey of awareness and presence, of inspiration and invigoration, and of world-changing fire-starting in the lives and hearts of others.

Jarryd Atkinson and the Year 9 Journey Team