Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Invocation Pilgrimage to Rome
To mark the Year of Faith Pope Benedict XVI invited "seminarians, novices and those on a vocational journey" to join him in Rome for a special vocations pilgrimage. When he retired Pope Francis took up the invitation and so it was that we cancelled two of the three Invocation weekend events here in England and instead organised an Invocation pilgrimage to Rome. We had to let Rome know numbers very early for accommodation purposes - they had to house about 6,000 pilgrims from all over the world - and so in the end there were eighty-five of us housed with a religious community in the Monte Mario district. Additionally some Franciscans and some Dominicans came and stayed with their various communities, five seminarians also came from Cardiff and we were joined by a number of students studying at the English College in Rome. Scotland was represented by three seminarians who joined our group. In all we were about a hundred pilgrims from the UK which itself generated some interest in Rome. So much so that we were interviewed by a number of media outlets. The photograph above is of Paloma, the Rome correspondent for COPE, a Spanish national radio station. Paloma interviewed me before the pilgrimage began on the vocations situation in the United Kingdom and I was able to explain to her how Invocation was making a real difference to the face of vocations work among young people.