The gathering of young people
associated with the Carmelite Order across Europe, known as the
"Pilgrimage of Hope", began in Rome on 19th July, and will continue
until the 25th. The young pilgrims are staying at the Carmelite
conference centre in Sassone, just outside Rome, where they will reflect
together on the Carmelite tradition, and visit the holy sites in the
arriving at Sassone.
Among the 200 or so participants is a contingent of a dozen young people
from Britain, accompanied by Carmelite friars Kevin Melody, Ged Walsh
and Paul Jenkins. The Prior Provincial of the British Province, Fr.
Wilfrid McGreal, is also attending part of the pilgrimage.
Brothers Ged Walsh
(front, centre) and Paul Jenkins
attending the first plenary session.
were welcomed by the organising committee,
and the Councillor General for Europe, Fr. John Keating, O.Carm.
The participants were greeted with an introductory
and a letter of welcome from the Prior General, Fr. Fernando
Millán Romeral, O.Carm., which began: "Dear Friends, I would like first
of all, on behalf of the
Carmelite Order, to welcome you to Rome. I hope that these days of
pilgrimage, reflection, prayer, fun and fraternal encounter, will be an
unforgettable experience for you." In his letter the Prior General
reflected on the importance of pilgrimage in the Christian tradition in
general, and the Carmelite tradition in particular, listing Aylesford
(in the British Province) among the Order's most important pilgrimage
sites. (To read the letter in full please click
The Prior General
in discussion with the pilgrims.
On the feast of the prophet Elijah, 20th July, the participants
reflected on Elijah and Mary as the foundational inspirations for the
Carmelite way of life.
On 20th July they also made a pilgrimage to the Basilica of St. John
Lateran, the Cathedral of Rome.
Young pilgrims from
the British Province of Carmelites adjust to the Roman heat!
of hope, including (second left) Tiago de Oliveira Casaleiro,
a postulant who has spent time at Aylesford Priory in England.
On the evening of 20th July the pilgrims gathered in the ancient
Carmelite Church of San Martino ai Monti in central Rome for a
celebration of the prophet Elijah.
The celebration in
Whilst in San Martino, pilgrims were able to visit the tomb of Blessed
Angelo Paoli, the Carmelite 'Father of the Poor', who was beatified in
April this year.
British Pilgrims of
Hope visiting the tomb of Blessed Angelo.
Updates on the Pilgrimage of Hope are given on a dedicated website; to
access it please click