World Youth Day USA Guides International Pilgrimage Leaders Guide - Page 31

revolutionaries, and trailblazers who crossed 4. United States pilgrims can be proud literal and figurative mountains to seek out of their heritage of mercy. what was on the other side. For example, When participating in World Youth Day, consider the early settlers, who forged a path pilgrims will not only be representing their through the unknown wilderness; the Founding parish, campus, diocese, or ecclesial movement; Fathers, who pioneered a new way of they will also be representing their country. government, including emerging renewed Yet national identification must be carefully striving for religious liberty; the peaceful balanced at an international event like this. advocates of rights of the poor, the vulnerable, and disenfranchised; and the creative minds On one extreme, some U.S. participants can who scaled the mountains of science, exhibit an excessive pride in their home country engineering, and technology to bring new ideas at the risk of alienating those from other to life. In the Church, we celebrate the pioneers nations by their isolation, haughtiness, or of faith like St. Kateri Tekakwitha, an indifference. On another extreme, some Algonquin-Mohawk young adult who boldly travelers may overtly avoid associating with the converted to Roman Catholicism despite tribal United States altogether, for fear that they will objections and persecution; St. John Neumann, be seen in a negative light by others. It is C.Ss.R., founder of the Catholic school system important to stress to American pilgrims that in the United States; Fr. Michael McGivney, both of these extremes should be avoided in founder of the Knights of Columbus; and Fr. their preparation for and experiences at the Augustus Tolton, a former slave who became international World Youth Day. the first black Catholic priest in the United States, among many others. The key thing for pilgrims from the United States to understand is that theirs is a Another ideal of the American experience is heritage of pioneering, unity, and mercy: unity amidst diversity. As a nation of ideals that are worth identifying with, immigrants from the very beginning, the United celebrating, and humbly sharing in the States has had to wrestle with the plurality of international setting of World Youth Day. backgrounds and cultures that comprise the American people. While the history of The most recognized American experience was intercultural and interracial relationships has the one that was begun by the pioneers, not always been cooperative or benign, it is a 29