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Pilgrim teachers

s_familia_01.jpgIn the first week of April, Fergus O’Donoghue SJ and Brian Flannery led a group of educators from Jesuit schools through the places in Northern Spain associated with St Ignatius’ early life. There were three teachers from Clongowes and St Declan’s, and two each from Gonzaga, Galway and Belvedere. The group gelled. Their most vivid memories are diverse: the extraordinary sharing sessions at the end of each day; the eerie spirituality of Palm Sunday in Zaragosa with bunched canons turning their backs to the church, and penitents in pointed hats processing to drumbeat; the spectacular impact of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia temple (pictured here) in Barcelona. In the best tradition of returning travellers, their stories and enthusiasm would make anyone envious, and keen to follow those footprints.    124