Monday, May 26, 2008

Pyrenees 08

On Saturday evening I got back from a week in the Pyrenees. I'd gone with a few seminarians and young men considering their vocation. It was a great week even if the weather was a bit wet for this time of year. On Monday we were able to make a pilgrimage to Lourdes and were all pleased to be there in the jubilee year. On Tuesday we had a breath-taking walk in the Ordesa national park. Wednesday gave me a chance to visit some old friends in Pamplona. It was a long drive but we had lunch at the seminary and then stopped in for vespers at Lleyre an ancient Benedictine monastery. It was great to have a guided tour from one of the monks. On Thursday we went for another walk in the Vale of Aniscolo, calling in to visit the medieval town of Ainsa on the way back. There we met the parish priest who let us up the bell tower of the Church and who encouraged the smokers among up to kick the habit! Finally on Friday we visited Barbastro and Alquezar. In Barbastro we were given a very moving tour of the Claretian 'Museum of the Martyrs' - a museum dedicated to the fifty-one Claretian seminarians and their superiors who were executed during the civil war because they refused to take their cassocks off and renounce their faith. They were all in their twenties and were sustained in their agony by being able to secretly receive Holy Communion despite the order given that they be prevented from having two things: prayer and Communion. The museum preserves some of their last messages. They are very moving and manifest a tremendous love. I hope to post some of them in the future.

These trips can help confirm young men in their desire to be priests. Plese keep them in your prayers. And enjoy the photos.

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