World Youth Day USA Guides International Pilgrimage Leaders Guide - Page 12

Encounter, Accompany, Send: The Role of the World Youth Day Pilgrimage Leader Leading a group of people on an international on mission. The encounter, the voyage can be daunting for anyone. With all accompanying, and the sending do not just the logistics to worry about and the happen on their own. As Pope Francis said, responsibility of spiritually accompanying a Jesus Christ “goes before us and guides us.” cohort of disciples, World Youth Day in The choice to engage in the encounter, to be particular can fill ministry leaders with great accompanied, and to be sent is ours, though. anxiety. Yet despite this, during each It is never forced; it is a free choice in successive international gathering, thousands response to an invitation from Jesus Christ. of leaders step forward and take on the The invitation from Jesus Christ comes in mantle of a pilgrimage leader, in communion many ways. The ministry of the international with the Holy Father. pilgrimage leader is invaluable for assisting that invitation. “Do not be afraid!” When we go to proclaim Christ, it is he himself who goes These leaders serve World Youth Day before us and guides us. When he sent his pilgrims in a unique and privileged way, by disciples on mission, he promised: “I am helping open the door to Jesus Christ who with you always” (Mt 28:20). And this is encounters, accompanies and sends those also true for us! Jesus does not leave us who participate in the experience. God has alone, he never leaves you alone! called many ministry leaders to the important He always accompanies you. 1 service to be co-workers in his vineyard. The pilgrimage leader, then, is engaged in the Pope Francis preached these words to over evangelizing work of the Holy Spirit in and three million people gathered on Copacabana through the Church that sends the baptized Beach in Rio de Janeiro and millions more on mission to encounter, accompany, and around the world who participated in World send others. Pictures, mementos, and Youth Day 2013. He gave everyone a memories are not the only things that should mandate to live their encounter with Jesus be left from the experience of stateside and Christ, trusting that he accompanies and sends international WYDs. Rather, a deeper 1 Pope Francis, Homily for Closing Mass on Occasion of the XXVIII World Youth Day, Rio de Janeiro, July 28, 2013, 2. 10