04/11/2017, 18.55
SRI LANKA

Youth go on a pilgrimage and collect rubbish for Lent

Melani Manel Perera

Pupils from the St Joseph's Girls School in Nugegoda took part in the pilgrimage, which the Sisters of the Holy Family organise each year to replicate the Stations of the Cross. After leaving the top of Hiniduma Calvary, the group came down collecting rubbish.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – A group of young people, parents and sisters from the Holy Family congregation organised a pilgrimage along a mountain path to mark Jesus’ crucifixion and collect rubbish as a sign of respect for and an act of improvement of the environment.

The students who took part in the event are from the St Joseph's Girls School, Nugegoda, and enjoyed the Lenten initiative. One of them, Amanda, told AsiaNews, "We were all happy for this experience because of its spiritual and environmental value".

Each year the Sisters of the Holy Family organise a Lenten pilgrimage replicating the Stations of the Cross. Last Friday, their chosen route was along the Hiniduma Calvary, the oldest Calvary of the country.

Sixteen Holy Family teenagers (Supatha), 14 children (Supala), and several adults (supasa) took part in the event.

Fernando Chamodi, coordinator of the Supatha group, said that the purpose of the pilgrimage was twofold: "First, to meet Jesus at the top of the Calvary, and second, to clean up the environment."

Sister Timali Lowe, who was in charge of the children, led the pilgrimage. She urged the young participants to place "all their problems, illnesses and concerns in the hands of God, as Jesus did when he talked to his Father in Gethsemane. By praying to God, you will eventually find great inner peace.”

“This is what happened,” some of the kids said. “At the end of the Via Crucis, on top of the mountain, we shared our experiences. We all felt the same freedom, comfort, and feeling of joy."

"Jesus did many things for us,” the nun said. “He suffered for us, and gave salvation to all people. The sacrifice on Calvary has this meaning. Therefore, we ought to do something in exchange for that sacrifice, particularly in this world that was given to us."

"For this reason,” she added, “I suggested to the children to bring trash bags and collect rubbish from the road on the way back from the top of the mountain".

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