“See you next week!”. They were the last words we said to our fellow pilgrims before we left for our own MAGIS “experience”. Despite only having known one a other for two days, there was a realisation the we had already formed friendships – we were friends in Christ. It was not a sad farewell however as we are looking forward to meeting again in a week after an intense time of experience, we shall have so much to learn from each others different missions.
So once we said our goodbyes, we set off in our own group of 13 young people to the vibrant city of Galway in western Ireland where we are to spend the week helping paint a shelter for the homeless and learning about Irish culture. The feelings on the journey were a mixture of curious, calm, hopeful… but mostly excited! What would we be doing? Who would we meet? How will we be changed?
After a warm welcome in the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality and Culture where we are staying, we did a rather unusual ice breaker: learning the Lord’s Prayer in sign language! It was just amazing to see the prayers visualised and some words seemed to have a much deeper meaning when expressed as a sign.
After that it was time to discover Galway. We walked along the beach to a popular place where we could go swimming in the sea. It was so wonderful to be close to nature, especially as the sun was shining.
At sunset we formed our usual MAGIS circles for the review of the day. Both groups seized the chance to do theirs outside on the beach with the beautiful sea and mountains in the background. We all agreed on one thing: that the day had been promising and filled with peace and joy, motivating us for the next few days. There was a definite sense of shared thankfulness. Now we begin to see what “magis” means in the world. It’s not what you can see, it’s something more and this first day seems to have strengthened each person’s individual search for that “more”.