On Sunday, April 21st, filled with the joy of the risen Christ, at 9:55pm a group of 13 girls from the provinces of Brescia and Bergamo, together with two Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother, left for Ireland. At the airport in Dublin, the Sisters from the Roscommon community picked us up. Four intense days were waiting for us, full of many experiences and above all the closeness to Sister Clare, which was the highlight of our pilgrimage.
We began the first day by placing ourselves under the protection of Our Mother, in the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, patroness of Ireland. Although we went to Ireland aware that the weather is mostly rainy and cloudy, the Lord welcomed us with warmth and sun the first day. It was a beautiful morning, walking around the shrine, praying before the image of Our Mother, before leaving at noon for Castlebar, where we had Mass and lunch. After that, we followed the footsteps of St. Patrick, and not just figuratively, we braved climbing to the top of Croagh Patrick, “Ireland’s holiest mountain,” located in the county of Mayo, with an altitude of 764 meters. It is the famous mountain where Saint Patrick prayed and fasted for 40 days and 40 nights before beginning his ministry in Ireland. It was a blessing to reach the top because, despite the fatigue and difficulty, almost everyone arrived, enjoying the peace and beauty of the landscape seen from the peak. Then came the descent, which was no less difficult. But we all returned with a heart full of many lessons that we had been able to reflect on during the hike and with gratitude to the Lord for the day lived.ilde;anzas que habíamos podido reflexionar durante la marcha y con un gran agradecimiento al Señor por el día vivido.
On Tuesday, after attending Mass with the Sisters in Roscommon, we left for Northern Ireland, to Derry, the city of our Sr. Clare. We went to the cemetery to visit her grave and after some time of silent prayer, we prayed the Rosary and sang, offering all our prayer intentions, praying for loved ones, entrusting all the Home of the Mother to Sr. Clare, especially the youth and the Home in Italy; and of course praying for the community of Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother. It was a very special moment, where we were all deeply moved by the closeness of Sr. Clare. But we had to go home to Roscommon, so we said goodbye to Sister Clare and we went to visit her parish, got to know the city of Derry a little and enjoyed a great Chinese dinner thanks to the hospitality of our friend Thomas Gallagher. And we returned home, once again after a long day full of experiences.
Wednesday would be our last day "lived to the full" in Ireland. And it could not go without occurring: it rained, and we experienced the normal weather in Ireland: rain, clouds and cold. We were able to spend the day in Roscommon, attend Mass in the parish, visit the chapel of perpetual adoration that the Servant Sisters of Roscommon with some parishioners recently remodeled, do a little adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and return home to "entrust" to the group of girls the preparation of a great Italian meal. In the afternoon the girls went out to tour the town of Roscommon, sheltered under their umbrellas, and on their return home, we concluded the pilgrimage with an Adoration Vigil.
In the evening we had a spectacular dinner and festival. That night we had very little sleep because the road to the airport was calling us to catch our early flight back to Italy, but we were so happy that one does not notice the fatigue, discomforts, etc.
We give thanks to the Lord and Our Mother for all that they have allowed us to experience. To Sr. Clare, for welcoming us in her presence. A big "thank you" to the community of Servant Sisters in Ireland and to the priests who have assisted us during our time there.