Eleven students at the School of Education at the University of Glasgow recently took time away from their exam preparation to heed Pope Francis’ call to undertake a pilgrimage to a Holy Door. Not content with one door, they visited all 8 Scottish cathedral Holy Doors in only 24 hours, on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th April. Accompanied by staff from the School of Education, they travelled only by train and foot, whilst raising money for Classrooms for Malawi. Their photos were posted live on their Facebook page, and followed by hundreds of fellow students and family members. The students were delighted on the Friday evening when, arriving tired and footsore at St Margaret’s Cathedral in Ayr at 8.30 p.m., they were greeted by Bishop William Nolan of Galloway, and local parish priest Canon Pat Keegans. After a candlelit prayer service, they sat down to a beautiful supper prepared by local parishioners. Most visits were relaxed and prayerful, while unfortunately the pilgrims only had 21 minutes between trains in Dundee, precipitating a dash to St Andrew’s Cathedral! The pilgrims were delighted to discover that, by the time they had returned to Glasgow they had raised over £1,400 for Classrooms for Malawi. The team hope to complete many more pilgrimages and challenges in the years ahead as they undertake their formation as Catholic teachers.
Fr Stephen Reilly, Co-ordinator of Spiritual and Pastoral Formation, said, “The students showed great enthusiasm in embracing the Pope’s call. As the first major event run by our newly-formed Student Pastoral Planning Team, I was delighted that it was so successful.”
Second year RE student Callum Timms said, “We enjoyed the variety of cathedrals and Holy Doors, each of which was presented differently. The welcome from priests and locals at each cathedral was also special.”