Involving the younger generations is a key aspect to build a well-balanced, future-driven pilgrim community, oriented toward nature and sustainability. Being aware of these factors, the Hungarian rurAllure team organised several events targeting the younger generation to promote natural heritage and pilgrimages. At these events, the Way of Mary Association introduced the spiritual and physical impacts of pilgrimage, and the natural and cultural values of the Way of Mary, while the Governmental Agency for IT Development (KIFÜ) demonstrated the potential benefits of the rurAllure project.
On 4 April 2022, rurAllure team joined the weekly meeting of the Saint Francis Antiochia Community in Budapest. The attending 20 young church members were introduced to the Way of Mary and the spiritual and team-building role of pilgrimages. The contributing European institutions and pilgrim ways of the rurAllure Consortium were presented by KIFÜ.
In May 2022, a seminar was held at the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, where the network developed relevant activities in the framework of the rurAllure along the Way of Mary. The presentations emphasized the tourist treasures along the route and the goals and results of this international cooperation.
Following the seminar, an outdoor event was conducted for the students to gain first-hand experience about pilgrim routes. Students of the Károly Róbert Campus in Gyöngyös walked through a brief section of the Way of Mary.
During the travel, they could experience the impacts of a pilgrimage on the area’s economic, social, and spiritual life. In addition, the youth had an opportunity to admire a shire, attend a lecture about the local government’s strategies for religious tourism, visit an archaeological excavation and taste the product of one of the local wineries.
These events were warmly welcomed both by university students and their professors. Thanks to the success of these meetings, further seminars and internship opportunities will be discussed as part of the future cooperation between the university and rurAllure.