Gather! Gather!
Gather in the light of the Lord!

After another successful Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage members of the Ministry Team reflect on their experiences

Once again this year around 700 young people gathered in a field outside of Walsingham to pray and to celebrate their faith. The theme this year had an Olympic flavour and the young people were encouraged to see how their faith was something more valuable than gold. They were encouraged through reflecting on passages from St Paul’s letters to run the race of faith focusing on Christ.

The worship was, as ever, lively due in no small part to the wonderful music of CJM (a Catholic worship band) and the hard work of the Shrine staff and Ministry Team. There were lively dramas and moving dances to help young people understand and deepen their faith. A highlight for many people was the all night vigil which began with laying on of hands, anointing and the sacrament of reconciliation.

The Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage remains a highlight of the year for many people and a wonderful way to bring our Catholic young together to share their faith. We asked some of the Ministry Team to reflect on their fortnight together and here is what they had to say:

Emma Rundell

Being part of the Ministry Team of this year’s Walsingham Youth Pilgrimage was an experience I am never going to forget. It was great being able to be part of the planning process of my favourite pilgrimage, and being able to make it everything I have ever wanted and more.

Meeting the rest of the team was quite daunting, especially as there were so many of us this year, but we all immediately bonded so quickly and nearly all of us were seasoned ‘Youth Pilgrims’ and so we all knew what we enjoyed about it and wanted to bring to it ourselves as part of the Ministry Team.

I have made some great friends, and I have so many fond memories of this year’s Youth Pilgrimage, especially of the Friday mass we organized. I just hope and pray that the pilgrims themselves came away with equally amazing memories and fondness for the Shrine, and I hope we helped some in their journey of faith, as the Youth Pilgrimage has helped me over the years.

Fred Thomas

The Ministry Team, what an experience! I had a lot of fun but I also had spiritual time in all the liturgies; these two things resulted in a brilliant two weeks. If I could do it again I would. I recommended it greatly.

Sarah Collin

Being a member of the 2012 Ministry Team was such an uplifting experience.

It gave me great joy to be able to encourage and inspire energy in the young pilgrims as they joined together in praise. For me, my most treasured moment of the week was when we were given the opportunity to administer ‘the laying on of hands’ at the late night liturgy on the Wednesday evening. This was such a powerful and moving experience.

The main foundations for each individual relationship formed that evening were trust, faith and love. It was the element of trust that struck me the most. Each individual young pilgrim, aided by the strength of their belief, was able to come and share their prayers and intentions, in the knowledge and love of God’s presence supporting us.

This was one of many powerful moments, which together with the joy, fellowship and fun created a resounding and remarkable two weeks. ND

If you are interested in
the Ministry Team for 2013
or in being part of the
Year for God scheme do be
in touch with Fr Stephen
Gallagher at the Shrine