By Matthew Lau
The staff of La Salle College embarked on a pilgrimage from St Mary’s Cathedral to St Charles’ Seminary on 29 June as part of an annual professional development day.
“Camino de La Salle” was an opportunity for the college’s 210-strong workforce to journey on a Christian pilgrimage, a first of its kind for the Catholic co-educational secondary school.
The day began at St Mary’s Cathedral with Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton blessing the pilgrims and scallop shells.
Bishop Sproxton told the La Salle College collective that the word “pilgrim” derives from Latin meaning “foreigner” or “stranger”.
“It reminds us we are a people whose home is not in this world,” he said.
“Making a pilgrimage to holy places is an ancient discipline. Over the centuries, faithful people have journeyed forth, leaving the security of home, to seek God in these places. Finding God there, they have returned to their homes to find that God is there also.”
Bishop Sproxton went on to explain that “the goal of the pilgrim is not the sacred place they visit”.
“The ultimate goal of the pilgrim is to return home, strengthened in their commitment to serve God and His people. May these humble scallop shells remind the pilgrims of their purpose.”
The group then walked some 15km along the Swan River to St Charles’ Seminary in Guildford, stopping along the way to pray and reflect on God’s blessings and to pay homage to the life of St John Baptist de La Salle.
Those unable to walk the distance prepared morning tea and lunch back at the Middle Swan-based school, and joined their colleagues at the seminary for lunch.
The team-building day was organised by Principal Wayne Bull, Acting Director of Christian Ministry Natalie Calleja, and Liturgy Coordinator Jennifer Waller.
“If success can be measured by the level of positivity and staff camaraderie blended with a spiritual overtone, then this pilgrimage was very successful indeed,” Ms Calleja expressed.
“So many staff members commented on their level of enjoyment and appreciation of our beautiful Swan River and were hopeful that this would become an annual event.”
La Salle College was founded by the Lasallian Order in 1954 and tailors for the educational, spiritual, and pastoral care needs of 1400 students from years seven to 12.