2016 Pilgrimage

This year our Pilgrimage students engaged with a ten-week preparation course that was designed to help them to tackle some of the social justice issues that the communities visited on Pilgrimage encounter. The students participated in workshops related to Catholic Social Teaching, Human Rights, mass-1.jpgTrafficking, Environmental Justice, Indigenous issues, and poverty each Thursday after school during Term Three.

Additionally, each individual Pilgrimage group also meet regularly and participated in a weekend retreat program to look at destination related issues and to prepare spiritually for the Pilgrimage.

The students and a group of very committed parents were able to raise a significant amount of money that has been distributed to the Jesuit priests, Loreto Sisters and other organisations to assist them to continue to fund their out-reach and development programs.

Four Pilgrimage groups departed during the school holidays to visit Timor Leste, India, Vietnam and the Northern Territory. They were inspired by the words of Pope Francis to 'de-naturalise' extreme poverty and to look deeper to see the human face to encounter the life of 'another'. It is being with the 'other' that we may see the face of Christ.

We look forward to sharing our experiences with the wider community at our parent forums, Council meeting and school assembly later this term.

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India is a deeply spiritual place which has left a lasting impression on the fortunate ten students and three accompanying teachers. We experienced so much in a whirlwind two weeks. Spending time in both Kolkata and Hazaribagh, we were continually immersed in to the Loreto and Jesuit charisms central to our College's foundation. By our many visits to schools for the marginalised and centres for the displaced, we were able to learn how strong the need for social justice is in our privileged society, something which we are now able to fully appreciate.

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During the Vietnam pilgrimage, we immersed ourselves in the culture, did three days working in an orphanage for disabled children where we learnt how to communicate with and feed the children and built the walls of a house on the Mekong. The war remnants museum and the Cu Chi Tunnels was a learning experience that made us think about Australian history and involvement in the war.

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Timor Leste

Eleven students and three staff were fortunate enough to travel to East Timor for twp weeks during the July Holidays. Travelling to East Timor was an exciting, eventful but tiring time where students were able to form close and intimate relationships, learn more about the detailed and interesting history and culture of East Timor and were given the opportunity to experience something completely new and challenging that will be remembered forever. The East Timor Pilgrimage for 2016 was an unforgettable and emotional journey that has impacted the lives of many people for the good.

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Northern Territory

Going to Beswick was a once in a lifetime opportunity which enriched our cultural, spiritual and emotional knowledge. Pilgrimage broadened our horizons and completely changed our perspective and the way we now view the world.

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John XXIII College would like to thank Tourism NT for their generosity in awarding the Northern Territory Pilgrimage a grant to enable the group to 'Save and Learn in the NT'. The proceeds from the grant enabled the pilgrimage an opportunity to further develop their awareness of indigenous affairs and the environment, whilst 'on country'.