Liverpool Sunday 6th January
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ The King is hosting the pilgrimage of Don Bosco's relics over two days. Sunday gave an opportunity for parish groups from all over the North of England to make their pilgrimage to this great saint of youth.
The relic, displayed in a glass casket, lies at the heart of the experience but the real spirit of the saint was expressed by the team of young people from the salesian network that changed the relic into a lived reality for the pilgrims.
This is the second stop of the pilgrimage which began in Scotland where almost 3,000 people shared the pilgrim experience. The experience involved walking through a dream of Don Bosco and engaging with the story of this man who was able to touch the hearts of young people, parents and teachers with a simple spirituality that transforms lives.
In the pilgrim experience people were invited to find their “inner playground” to check their level of optimism and to recognise cheerfulness as a pathway to wholeness and holiness. Don Bosco wanted no long faced saints and presented a balanced and gentle approach to the mystery and meaning of each life. Commenting on the experience Catherine Silkern from Liverpool said “Young people are having a hard time right now, especially with unemployment. They need new reasons to get out of bed and this spirituality can do that”.”
The casket of Don Bosco was lit in a pool of light in the middle of the Cathedral. During the mass girls from St John Bosco School Croxteth and from Savio High School danced in front of the relics and presented a wonderful interpretation for the offertory and the communion.
Bishop Thomas Williams presided at the mass and Fr Martin Coyle, provincial of the Salesians in Great Britain preached on Don Bosco as one of the wise men who had much to say to us today about how to live and work together. The message, said Fr Coyle, spoke especially to young people and his words were to be tested a few minutes later when the event picked up some “passing trade”. One of the youth crew found a lad outside having a splif and got talking to him. He eventually decided to come in to have a look and found the experience interesting and helpful, much to his surprise. Another two lads, playing on scooters outside also came in to have a look and one of them found it really good, his name was Joe. The other lad thought it was rubbish and gave his name as “82”!
The number of pilgrims on Sunday afternoon numbered over 1,200, more are expected on Monday.
On Tuesday the pilgrimage moves on to Birmingham and then into Wales.
The detailed timetable of the event can be found on the website www.donboscorelics.co.uk