One month after entering the novitiate, the master assigned each first year novice a pastoral service to assist in the different communities in Genoa. A small taste of apostolic life. I was sent to the Scout group that meets up at the parish of Santa Maria di Castello: the “Genova 40”, in which I participate in the activities of the Clan, a group of young adults aged between 17 and 21 years.
Scouting is strongly inspired by the value of the journey. Walking for a long time allows you to know, dominate and overcome your limits and gives a taste for adventure. Carrying a backpack for a long time and staying overnight in different places far away from each other, it is possible to learn the skill of essentiality, understood as the ability to live with only the absolutely necessary. Walking in nature is a privileged moment of encounter with God. On the other hand, the company of others teaches the joy of being together, friendship, fraternity, solidarity and acceptance. Finally, the journey helps to live moments of silence in which it is possible to think and reflect on one’s personal growth path.
During the Easter Triduum, we organized a three-day walk along the Via Francigena, an ancient road that in the Middle Ages united Canterbury to Rome and the ports of Puglia, recently rediscovered by modern travelers.
We left early on Maundy Thursday, reaching Massa by train. Our journey began there; once out of the city centre we could admire the famous marble quarries and the processing sites of this precious material. Proceeding along the path we came across the Rocca Malaspina, a medieval fortification that served as the ancient seat of the city’s rulers. The route then presented us with an array of natural and artistic beauties. The stupendous hilltop landscapes of Tuscany alternated with entrances into picturesque villages and towns. We especially appreciated Pietrasanta and its magnificent Duomo. At the end of the day walking we spent the night in Camaiore, staying in the rooms of a parish in the countryside, obviously on the floor and in sleeping bags. The next day we headed to Lucca, a true gem, which we had the pleasure of visiting both at night and during the day, enjoying the beauty of the caliber of Piazza dell’Anfiteatro and the church of San Michele in Foro. Back in Genoa we concluded the triduum by participating in the Easter vigil at Santa Maria di Castello.
After these three wonderful days, I returned to the Novitiate to celebrate Easter with my companions, grateful to the Lord for what was received.