Capturing transformative stories from the Mexico City Pilgrimage: A first-person perspective


Mexico Pilgrimage

During fall break of 2018, more than 20 students experienced the life, spirit, culture and food of Mexico City. Campus Ministry hosts this annual pilgrimage which is designed to allow students, Catholic or non-Catholic, to develop new relationships and recognize God in all things. It’s also a chance for students to slow down, reflect and gain global perspectives.

I am a storyteller for Notre Dame International, and the pilgrimage is just the type of story NDI seeks to tell.

NDI encourages students to become global citizens who can lead and serve the common good, calling them to be curious and immerse themselves in new cultures. Accompanying the group on the pilgrimage offered me the opportunity to capture some transformative moments.

On October 13, we embarked on the journey. The Campus Ministry group consisted of students, priests, and staff leaders. I was intrigued by the students and their individual reasons to take a pilgrimage during their time off. Some had personal connections to Mexico; others sought to delve into their spirituality; some simply had never explored life outside the United States.

Each day was vastly different. We celebrated Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady and saw the original tilma which holds the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We conquered the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan, climbing all 248 steps, and attended the world-famous Ballet Folklorico. We boarded small colorful boats on the canals of Xochimilco and were treated to lunch and plenty of entertainment.

I quickly found myself writing colorful, enriching and unexpected stories. While the pilgrimage is focused on exploring faith, it was also an opportunity to slow down, be present and reflect on life. We didn’t waste a single moment immersing ourselves in the Mexican culture. It didn’t hurt that we were treated to the world’s best churros on a daily basis.

This particular group was very diverse – different years, majors, beliefs, and backgrounds. It proved to me that such experiences are truly for everyone.

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