Life as a Pilgrimage

Life as a Pilgrimage: A Reflection for Pilgrims on a Synodal Journey

Christine Cameron

Paperback, 348 pages, $39.95

ISBN 9781923224018

May 2024 release

The “Signs of the Times” indicate change and renewal for the Catholic Church!

“Life as a Pilgrimage: A Reflection for Pilgrims on a Synodal Journey” is structured around three parts and twenty chapters – exploring Pilgrimage and Synodality and blending historical perspectives with contemporary reflections to set the tone for change and renewal within the Catholic Church.

Part One (Chapters 1-3): In Chapter One the journey commences with a definition of the terms Pilgrimage and Synodality. Chapter 2 traces the Synodal Way of Jesus Christ through his life, death, and resurrection. Jesus launched his ministry to spread the Word of his heavenly Father. He recruited a band of followers – his apostles – to travel and walk the journey together with him. The life of Jesus was a pilgrimage – he was a spiritual traveller who taught his followers the way of the pilgrim – to be committed to personal and communal conversion while serving the Church and humanity. Chapter 3 delves into the ten core characteristics of servant leadership as identified by Spears (1998) and provides the terms of reference for their application to the lives and works of fourteen significant female pilgrims, leaders in the Church of a bygone era, whose charism is embedded in the legacies that they have gifted to the contemporary Church.

Part Two (Chapters 4-17): In this section the ten core characteristics of servant leadership are applied to the lives of the fourteen extraordinary women (see the previous paragraph) – who inspired and continue to inspire generations of leaders and pilgrims in the Catholic Church. The chapters offer a rich narrative of the life and works of all fourteen women, who listened to the Spirit with the ear of their hearts, and who became positive agents of change and leader builders within the Church, during their own time and for time immemorial.

Part Three (Chapters 18-20): In the third and final section, the focus shifts to contemporary perspectives. Chapter 18 amplifies the voices of Monican youth who, in a Synodal Survey, share their insights on understanding the Synodal process. Chapter 19 navigates the present day Synodal Journey discussing contemporary challenges faced by the Church, and reflecting on the call to communion, participation, and mission within the community of disciples. Chapter 20 concludes the book, framing the narrative within the context of the upcoming Jubilee Year – a Holy Year (2025), urging readers to be Pilgrims of Hope!

Throughout the book, references to the Second Vatican Council underscore the Church’s ongoing commitment to renewal by its efforts to embrace diversity and inclusion. Theological insights, historical perspectives, and contemporary reflections are integrated, offering readers a comprehensive understanding of the Synodal Journey and inspiring hope for the future of the Church under the Patronage and guidance of the Holy Spirit. “Life as a Pilgrimage: A Reflection for Pilgrims on a Synodal Journey” serves as both a historical retrospective and a forward-looking guide, inviting readers to embark on their own Synodal Journey on their pilgrimage of life, and to embrace the transformative power of hope within the context of the dynamic and evolving reality of a living, breathing Church.

Dr Christine Cameron is a senior academic, author and educator. This is her fourth book in the leadership series. It is a supplement to her 2019 book “Heralding a Renaissance: Women & Leadership in the Catholic Church”. Christine’s previous works include “Leadership as a call to service: The lives and works of Teresa of Ávila, Catherine of Siena and Thérèse of Lisieux”– published in 2012 and based on her 2009 doctoral research “Women Doctors of the Catholic Church: A Study in Servant Leadership.” That publication was followed in 2015 by her second book “Leadership as a call to service: The life and works of Hildegard of Bingen”. Christine’s area of expertise is in leadership as service. Her leadership platform is based on the servanthood of Jesus Christ. Christine has held administrative positions in Catholic Schools as Principal, Assistant Principal and Religious Education Co-ordinator. She has also undertaken sessional work at the Australian Catholic University working with students enrolled in the Master of Educational Leadership course. Christine grew up in a convent having started her career at the age of fourteen as a member of a religious order – and though leaving the community some years later, her faith journey and apostolic mission continue!