6 October 2023
Miss Mirin Niekirk, Chaplaincy Assistant
On Wednesday 4 October, I was accompanied by Sacred Heart Ribbon Fleur and Sacred Heart Year Reps Linda, Caitin, Nithali and Tisha on the Secondary School Pilgrimage in Arundel to celebrate the Feast of St Francis of Assisi.
As the schools gathered, Bishop Richard Moth prayed for the journey ahead. He reminded us of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology and animals, and encouraged us to take in our surroundings to reflect on how privileged we are to have all we need and more.
We began our journey through the autumn countryside, walking through the valleys until we encountered a long steep hill. There were a few grumbles from students (and some staff) as we ascended, but we were rewarded with stunning views of Arundel. The students were amazed at how far they could see, the gorgeous colours of autumn, and said how fortunate they were to have time to stop and just be in the moment.
The pilgrimage ended at Arundel Cathedral, where we celebrated Mass together. We listened to the Bishop talk about St Francis of Assisi’s love of the earth. He also referred to Pope Benedict’s newest document, ‘Laudate Deum’, encouraging us to unite to protect the world as we face the increasing worry of climate change. The students reflected on all they had thought and talked about on the pilgrimage.
The Sacred Heart Team is excited to have further conversations about how our school can contribute to the protection of the earth in response to Pope Benedict’s letter and decide on some actions we can take.