FSA 2024 Franciscan Pilgrimage

“Wherever the brothers [and sisters] may be and meet one another, let them show they are members of the same family." (LR VI: 7-9)

Peace be with you, pilgrim!

A highly successful pilgrimage.

I am grateful for this experience and encourage others to be a pilgrim with FSA, to bring to life the Franciscan tradition by walking in the footsteps of St Francis and St Clare. Margareta

Our 2024 pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi, and other Franciscan sacred places and spaces was an overwhelming success, one that FSA hopes to offer biannually from 2025. This pilgrimage was for all involved a time of spiritual enlightenment, personal growth and renewal. FSA has no doubt it will be an inspiration for the educators in Franciscan schools who joined us both professionally and personally for years to come.

FSA welcomed all pilgrims! We committed ourselves to your service.

Why a Pilgrimage?

Pilgrimage is a sacred time. It is not about travel. The foci for our pilgrims was to seek new insights, discover more about Francis and Clare of Assisi and open oneself up to transformation. Of course FSA encouraged the joy of fraternity with like-minded educators while sampling wholesome Italian hospitality and immersing oneself in Italian culture and the special place that is Assisi and other places of significance to the Franciscan story.

Co-Leaders

The expertise, passion and wisdom of our Pilgrimage Leaders – Alison Stone, Stephen Bliss and Paul Rout – gave an intimate insight into the lives of these two people who inevitably changed the church 800 years ago. The regular scholarly input perfectly balanced the free time pilgrims were given to experience the Franciscan places visited. Michael

Heartfelt thanks go to Fr Stephen Bliss OFM and to Fr Paul Rout OFM who accompanied pilgrims as spiritual leaders and sources of Franciscan wisdom. They too were pilgrims on the journey of life. In 2024 we welcomed Sr Peta Hills osc who was able to join us from her Campbelltown Poor Clare community. Her presence provided evidence of the fraternal bond between the First and Second Orders of the Franciscan family. Alison Stone, FSA Animator of Mission and Identity played the role of logistics coordinator and provided both scholarly input and educational context.

Testimonies

This pilgrimage was one of deep learning and renewal and will be a source of inspiration for my personal and work life for many years to come. Melissa

As I sit down to reflect on my recent Franciscan pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome, joined by two other members of my school community, I am overwhelmed with gratitude at the great sense of spiritual growth I experienced. We had daily creative celebrations of liturgy and prayer that were facilitated by Franciscan Friars, Fr Stephen Bliss and Fr Paul Rout and also our Franciscan Schools Australia Animator of Mission and Identity Alison Stone. Every encounter, every moment of prayer and reflection impacted my growth and animated our Franciscan charism in ways I had not imagined. Rachel

It was an extraordinary experience, one which I will treasure long into the future. Christelle

This pilgrimage has rekindled my own faith. I have come away inspired and challenged … to truly live the gospel in the most simplest of ways so as to transform hearts and minds. Margareta

The FSA pilgrimage experience enabled me to have a deeper understanding of the Franciscan charism and also to see the difficulties faced by both Francis and Clare as they answered their calling to walk in the footsteps of Christ. Through our reflection time I was challenged to consider how I can commit myself to the charism and what is required to bring this understanding to our school community. Joanne

As educators in Franciscan schools the pilgrimage was an opportunity to share, network and grow in our understanding of the charism for which we work. Michael

The shared purpose, the investment of self, and the magic of connecting with like-minded companions made this Franciscan pilgrimage one I will cherish, and one I would encourage future pilgrims to open their hearts to the experience of. Nicola

The FSA Pilgrimage helped me to develop more my faith in Christ. It was fabulous meeting others from schools, two Friars and a Poor Clare Sister around Australia. It was wonderful to collect, discuss teaching and learning strategies of how to introduce and embed Franciscan Values with young people. There was much laughter over great meals, walks with spectacular views and coffee in the mornings during our free time. Faye

It indeed was a profound and humbling experience. Pilgrimage has taught me the power of the intellectual tradition of the Franciscan Charism and most importantly, the value of the story for the young people I teach and work with. Martin

This pilgrimage has rekindled my own faith. I have come away inspired and challenged by Francis and Clare’s desire for deep listening, especially to the poor, their desire for peace, their ability to see God’s goodness in the beauty of all creation, even a broken stone, and their desire to truly live the gospel in the most simplest of ways so as to transform hearts and minds. I am grateful for this experience and encourage others to be a pilgrim with FSA, to bring to life the Franciscan tradition by walking in the footsteps of St Francis and St Clare. Margareta

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Day 1 – Arrival in Rome with gathering circle and pilgrimage welcome ritual.

Day 2 – Day 9 – Assisi and surrounds sanctuaries: sanctuary of Greccio, Santa Marie degli Angeli Basilica, the Porziuncola, the Cathedral of San Rufino, Basilica di San Francesco, the hermitage of Montecasale, the Sanctuary of La Verna, San Damiano, and the Basilica di Santa Chiara.

Day 10 – Day 14 – The Sanctuary of La Foresta and the eternal city of Rome: Over the final 4 days of our pilgrimage we turned our attention to our global Church and our Australian educational and church context. The Basilica di San Pietro, meeting with the Australian Ambassador to the Holy See, Cathedral of St John Lateran, catacombs of San Sebastian, Basilica of St Paul’s Outside the Walls, Papal Audience, St Isidore’s College with the OFM Friars, Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop Retreat

Day 15 – departure day and the pilgrimage continues in own communities.

ACCOMODATION

Friday 29 March – Saturday 30th March 2024. [overnight]

•Rome: Casa Per Ferie Ravasco, San Pietro, Via Stazione San Pietro, 37 Roma, ITALY

T | +39 06 632701     E| [email protected]  W | https://www.casaravascosanpietro.com/en/

Saturday 30th March – Sunday 07 April 2024.

•Assisi: Suore Francescane Angeline(Angeline Franciscan Sisters)

Via Metastasio, 18, 06081 ASSISI (PG)

T | 075.81.55.116      E| [email protected] W | https://www.angeline.it/case-di-accoglienza/case-di-accoglienza/assisi/

Sunday 07 April – Friday 12 April 2024.

•Rome: Casa Preziosissimo Sangue (Precious Blood Sisters)

Via di Santa Maria Mediatrice, 8, 00165 Roma RM, Italy

T | +39 06 636600      E| [email protected] W | https://www.casapreziosissimosangue.it/

Stephen ofm

National Executive Coordinator