The pilgrimage that fourteen young Montrealers went on with Archbishop Christian Lépine, was an "original" one, according to what the Archbishop himself had to say.

The pilgrimage that fourteen young Montrealers went on with their bishop, Most Reverend Christian Lépine, Archbishop of Montreal, was an "original" one, according to what the Archbishop himself had to say.

"The Youth Ministry wanted to organize a pilgrimage with the young people that had experienced World Youth Days so that they may deepen their faith," he said, "and I must say that it was a an extraordinary journey!"  

The group, with ages ranging from 18 to 35, toured the Holy Land from June 25 to July 8, 2015, accompanied by the Director of Youth Ministry, Isabel Correa, and guided by Théa van de Kraats, Coordinator at Spiritours.  

"It was a true pilgrimage," continued Archbishop Lépine. "In Jerusalem, for example, our hotel was situated 30 minutes on foot from the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Well, most of the young people would go pray for one hour every morning at the Holy Sepulchre, some as early as 6 a.m., and would return to have breakfast with the group at 8 a.m. We can see that Jesus Christ really appeals to the youth."

"I even suggested to our guide that we observe ten minutes of silence at each site on our tour, even with all the noise around us... The young people responded so well to this invitation that they kept asking for more."  

How did you propose this idea? "I told them: Do you want to tell people upon your return from this pilgrimage that you visited this place and saw that place, or that you prayed at these locations?"

"It was a process of self-reflection which returned us each to our own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They were able to experience it concretely. This one time, we remained in silence for up to an hour!"

Archbishop Lépine seemed to have really appreciated the youth: "It was original. They were young, so they said that the trip had to include sports. We ended up kayaking in the north of Galilee, in a tributary of the River Jordan, three per kayak. We did some serious Whitewater Rafting!"  

Prayer, being together, sports. This is why Most Reverend Lépine seemed so rested and full of energy... We can imagine that the group will have wonderful memories to talk about during their reunion this week.  

"I experienced a connection with the Holy Land, with Jesus Christ, and with the young people, who thirst for Jesus Christ. And when young people discover Jesus Christ, they just can't get enough! This is what is truly invigorating," concluded Most Reverend Lépine, smiling.

Album photo from Facebook