On Pilgrimage to Ireland19/08/2019
Year 11 students Will Edwards and Zachary McCarty, with Mr Len Watson, went on pilgrimage to Ireland from 12 – 25 July and experienced life-changing travels and the Young Mercy Leaders Conference in Dublin.
I was lucky enough to represent Catherine McAuley College, alongside Year 11 classmate Zachary McCarty and Deputy Principal Mr Len Watson, on an Irish immersion. The focus was taking part in the ‘Young Mercy Leaders Conference’ held in Dublin.
The conference itself spanned four days and was centred around Mercy in the world and the works of the Sisters of Mercy and, more specifically, Catherine McAuley. The conference was held at the Mercy International Centre in Dublin. I have taken a lot out of this amazing experience.
Other than the conference, we toured around the country of Ireland and Northern Ireland and were lucky enough to visit some of the spectacular places it has to offer. We developed an understanding of the countries and the rich and quite brutal history that has led to how they are today. A few places we visited were Kilmainham Gaol, Trinity College, St Patrick’s Cathedral, the Giants Causeway and the Titanic Museum.
This whole experience has not only allowed me to build upon my leadership skills but also gather new knowledge and skills that I will continue to use for the rest of my life. I have experienced some awesome things and made countless friendships that I will cherish and continue to reflect upon for a very long time.
Thank you to Catherine McAuley College for providing me with this opportunity.
Will Edwards, Year 11
On 12 July, Will and I met at Melbourne Airport with sixteen other pilgrims from Australia and headed off to Ireland. Once arrived and settled, we met and became friends with pilgrims from around the globe and attended a conference to learn about how Catherine McAuley lived her life. We had the opportunity to go to Catherine McAuley’s house for the poor, where we were welcomed home by the Sisters of Mercy. The conference consisted of various keynotes and presentations that enlightened/inspired us on how to live a more merciful life and to follow in Catherine’s footsteps.
As we continued our journey, we met so many people who inspired us to do good and be bigger than ourselves. We also toured around Belfast and Dublin, immersing ourselves in the history of the Catholic and the Protestant war known as ‘The Troubles’, as well as visiting historic sights all around Ireland. My favourite part of the experience was visiting the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland as the views took my breath away. Despite all the jetlag and turbulence on the way home, this experience was a trip of a lifetime and will forever be memorable.
Zachary McCarty, Year 11