Cebu, the Philippines -- On the 23rd of September, the ‘For Christ’ novices woke earlier for their annual pilgrimage, which started with the blessing and sending off prayer. They visited seven different churches in the southern part of the island.
- Sta. Catalina de Alexandria Parish Church in Carcar, Cebu. The church had life-size statues of the Apostles at the front, except for Judas who was separated from the rest. On the way to the second church, they visited the tomb of Servant of God Bp. Teofilo Camomot in Valladolid, Carcar.
- Patrocinio de Sta. Maria Parish Church (Our Lady of Protection) in Boljoon. A recent archeological excavation brought about 16th century artefacts that are now kept and exhibited in the museum.
- Immaculada Concepcion Parish in Oslob.
- San Guillermo de Aquitania Parish in Dalaguete.
- The fifth church was skipped due to lack of time.
- Monastery of the Holy Eucharist in Simala. It was a huge church, highly decorated, and full of Marian devotees. The chapel was small and simple. There was a big part of the monastery called the Mama Mary Halok. In the Halok, you are asked to remove your footwear because that place is considered a sacred ground. There were also glass cabinets full of the testimonies of people who had their prayers answered through the intercession of Mama Mary.
- Shrine of the Theotokos (Mother of God) in Carcar. The community celebrated the thanksgiving Mass in this church.
Every pilgrimage has its beginnings, whether simple or large. We all go on our ways, walking or riding, alone or in a company. But as we walk, we realize that our destinations are not really the churches nor the places we visit. It is really back where we started; it is back home, but this time, bringing something with us, something that will help us to pray better, love deeper and live fuller. In the end, we are back to where we started but different than before.