their families and friends and anyone in the alignment of life with Christ. Pope Francis community praying for and connected with warns that we cannot truly know the the stateside and international pilgrims). “person’s situation” before God from Furthermore, the leader is not accompanying “without.”10 This means that a compassionate pilgrims by him or herself. Jesus Christ, fellow listener can challenge another person to pilgrims, the pope, and others encountered greater spiritual growth. along the way are also accompanying them. Added to this, the leader is one who is also on Pope Francis says that the “The Gospel tells the journey with others in the group and us to correct others and to help them grow on witnesses a relationship with God. Leaders the basis of a recognition of the objective evil themselves are pilgrims. of their actions (cf. Mt 18:15), but without making judgments about their responsibility and culpability (cf. Mt 7:1; Lk 6:37).”11 As Pope Francis said, “Although it sounds obvious, spiritual accompaniment must lead others ever closer to God, in whom we attain The leader can keep this very careful balance true freedom.”8 Pope Francis in his apostolic through personal recognition of one’s own exhortation Evangelii Gaudium teaches that sinfulness and need for growth in life in good spiritual accompaniment includes what Christ. Everyone is in need of the mercy and might be called growth-inducing acceptance love of God; a profound awareness of this and evangelizing service.9 fact should be an important and meaningful experience during a pilgrimage. Acceptance and Challenge None of us is completely or fully-grown in All who experience the international our relationship with Jesus Christ and our World Youth Days will come with their own neighbor. We are all in need of on-going struggles, sinfulness, and personal frustrations. growth, but often we need others we trust to Sometimes it is openly shared, and sometimes show us some of the things we need to work not. Good leaders recognize this and can on. The pilgrim leader can offer acceptance of accompany these young people through another person, but in a way that challenges that person to a deeper relationship and 8 9 Evangelii Gaudium, no. 170. See Evangelii Gaudium, nos. 171-173. 10 11 14 Evangelii Gaudium, 172. Ibid.