PHOTO ESSAY BY Monica Dutton and Meg Kahler SGS
For 12 days in April, 20 people from Good Samaritan Education journeyed together on a pilgrimage to Italy and England which immersed them in the history and spirituality of the Good Samaritan Benedictine tradition.
Under the direction of their spiritual guide, Good Samaritan Sister, Elizabeth Brennan, the pilgrims discovered aspects of the life and times of St Benedict through visits to places of significance in Rome, Norcia, Subiaco and Monte Cassino.
Visits to Downside and Douai Abbeys gave the pilgrims time to explore the English Benedictine story and its links to the founding of the Good Samaritan Sisters in Australia by John Bede Polding in 1857.
Using Benedictine Sister Macrina Wiederkehr’s words about pilgrimage, Monica Dutton and Sister Meg Kahler SGS have created a photographic reflection of the group’s experience.
A pilgrimage is a ritual journey with a hallowed purpose.
Every step along the way has meaning.
The pilgrim knows that life giving challenges will emerge.
A pilgrimage is not a vacation; it is a transformational journey during which significant change takes place.
New insights are given.
Deeper understanding is attained.
New and old places in the heart are visited.
Blessings are received and healing takes place.
On return from the pilgrimage, life is seen with different eyes.
Nothing will ever be quite the same again.
(From Macrina Wiederkehr OSB, Behold Your Life: A Pilgrimage Through Your Memories, 2000)