27 October 2011.
'Grandparent's day out'
In celebration of the recent jubilant events of World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid - we at Thanh Nien were simply inspired. The idea of WYD itself has this contagious and exciting energy, especially for those fortuitous enough to attend! So what we wanted to do was continue this buzz and share it among friends and family back home on our very own soil.
The Berrima Pilgrimage was our way of tying in the spirit of WYD and engaging those in our community, especially our elderly members who did not have the opportunity to embark on this spiritual journey.That beautiful Saturday morning, all our grandmothers and grandfathers arrived bright and early at the Cabramatta Parish Church. It was an amazing turnout, definitely proven by our four coaches - completely filled! The coach trip was filled with chatter, 5 star in-coach entertainment and refreshments, and of course a whole rosary-bead worth of prayers for our safe trip!
On arrival at Berrima, the weather was unforgiving, but this did not dampen the spirit of the pilgrimage. After a re-energising tea (consisting of pork buns, sandwiches, coffee and of course â€“ tea), Cha Liem led us to the spiritual shrines of Berrima. Our seniors weathered the cold rain and a long muddy trek to take part in a beautiful prayer service at our Vietnamese Shrine. Making the most of the opportunity, we also took the time to absorb in other cultures and their artistically crafted shrines.
The pilgrimage would have not been complete if it were not for Cha Liemâ€™s famous youthfully stylised mass service at Berrimaâ€™s very own church, which we all agreed to be absolutely stunning and serene.Â To put the perfect end to our pilgrimage, Chef Dung cooked up a mouth watering lunch of a mix of Vietnamese and Thai flavours. The sheer volume of food he individually produced was a feat in itself, but to make it as tasty as it was, it was sincerely appreciated and applauded by all of our guests! So an enormous thank you to Chef Dung for his kind services.
So all in all, thank you to all the seniors and their families for not only sharing this journey and continuing the WYD spirit on our home soil, but also for their more than generous donations. Thank you to Cha Liem for taking time out of his busy schedule to help us coordinate and lead the pilgrimage. Finally, thank you to everyone in Thanh Nien for your hard work and dedication making this day a huge success!
More photos of our Berrima Pilgrimage here