THE PINK PILGRIMS
THE PINK PILGRIMS
‘Preach the Gospel and if necessary use words.’
St. Francis of Assisi
6th form Pilgrims from St. Thomas More RC Academy North Shields put their faith into action on annual HCPT Pilgrimage to Lourdes.
During the Easter Holidays over 20 Pilgrims associated with St. Thomas More RC Academy visit the Holy Marian at Easter and the number is growing. They will do so looking ‘pretty in pink’ in their STM Rugby tops. Their number will consist mainly of 6th form helpers but also includes staff, ex-students and younger children for whom the Pilgrimage is intended. St. Thomas Mores feeder schools are also represented on the Pilgrimage with a number of staff and children from St. Bernadette’s Primary school in Wallsend attending. This school ‘Lourdes Group’ supports the superb work of the North East HCPT Groups 36 and 46.
The idea of Pilgrimage being both a physical and spiritual journey has permeated the build up to the 2012 Pilgrimage with the group determined to walk in the footsteps of St. Bernadette. The journey began at the end of a previous journey; the 2011 Pilgrimage; although there was great sadness at the end of this; the joy of this week inspired the efforts towards the first fundraiser. The Pink Pilgrims turned ‘green’ for the night in a fun-packed Irish night with a Ceili and an amazing performance by Clan Na Gael Irish Dancing School.
It was shortly after this that two 6th former decided it was time to go on Pilgrimage to a special place of their own, which was the edge of an open doorway in an aircraft flying at 10,000 feet. Sophie McKenna and Ryder Buchanan clearly took the idea of a Spiritual and Physical journey a little too far by jumping out of this plane in Durham for their respective HCPT groups. The fundraising events continued to come thick and fast, and a Raffle and Race Night at Tynemouth was also a huge success. I can confirm that Dusty Carpet did indeed remain unbeaten.
All these fundraisers were an incredible success and by the time of the Easter Pilgrimage the students will have raised enough money for 10 children from the North East to attend the HCPT Pilgrimage, which given that the Price for a child to attend is £740 is a massive achievement by the 6th formers.
More importantly though this has brought together all the members of the St. Thomas More and HCPT community with parents, staff, governors, feeder schools, HCPT helpers and the children helped by pilgrimage all playing a major role in the success of the fundraising. Faith in action, and community in action.
Without doubt though it is the small or unseen details that highlight the agape’ love that the 6th formers have for each other and the children they will be helping. Writing seemingly endless letters for event prizes, the late evenings at school baking cakes, videoing Nativity Plays for primary schools, planning assembly’s, listening to Mr Murray sing, attending and speaking at Liturgies. Basically for the year leading up to the Pilgrimages the students have given themselves, and this without doubt should be good enough for anyone. In the words of St. Francis of Necessary ‘they have preached the Gospel and when necessary used words.’ This will make for excellent ‘pink pilgrims’ in Lourdes HCPT 2012. They will truly aim to walk in the footsteps of Bernadette.
Location: Group 36
Publication date: Tue, 8 May 2012, 10:18 AM