From 18 September to the 5 October, a pilgrimage group from EREA, McKillop Family Services and Edmund Rice Camps NZ, Journeyed with Edmund from Ireland to India. They experienced the hospitality and history of Edmund Rice and the Christian Brothers, the current day education story of Ireland and the challenges that Edmund Rice schools face. They also experienced the warm Indian hospitality from all in a country of extremes. They encountered inspiring local educators and leaders for change, explored the depths of various faith traditions in such a diverse melting pot and had the opportunity to reflect upon our their place in this great cosmic story.
The pilgrims travelled across lands and oceans, on planes, trains, cars, cycle-rickshaws, bus and by foot. They supported each other through what was not always an easy journey. They are grateful for all the encounters, the experiences and the community which formed. They return to our Edmund Rice communities wanting to share the wisdom and insight they gained and the passion that grew within them.
Reflections from Participants:
“It has been great to be able to articulate from first-hand experience the Edmund Rice story.”
"Every time I go on something like this I grow spirituality and emotionally. These encounters challenges me to look at things through a different lens, that it is really important to take time to stop and reflect, strengthens my courage to have more of a voice to be an advocate to make changes for the better so that we can be truly more inclusive. These experiences remind me of how privileged I am to be a part of this wonderful family and that I remain truly grateful and hope that I am able to give me in the way that I keep receiving from EREA.”
“It has enhanced my understanding of the Edmund Rice Charism and provided me a excellent reference point for the work we do and the organisation we work within.”
“A highlight was the people we encountered in two countries from the streets of Ireland to the streets of India. Also the role Nano Nagle played in shaping Edmund's story.”
“We need to be courageous, follow your hearts and cherish the wonderful organisation that we belong too. We must never forget our roots and stray too far from the goals set by Edmund about equality, justice and reaching out to the poor and marginalised. I think we get caught up in 'glitz' of education and forget the real holistic purpose of an Edmund Rice Education. I want to share with our parents and community and get them on board to engage our Touchstones so we can reach into the boarder community to gather more voices.”
We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Australia as the traditional owners and custodians of the land of our schools. We are inspired and nurtured by their wisdom, spirituality and experience. We commit ourselves to actively work alongside them for reconciliation and justice. We pay our respects to the Elders; past, present and future. As we take our next step we remember the first footsteps taken on this sacred land.