World Youth Day USA Guides International Pilgrimage Leaders Guide - Page 33

promoter of peace between peoples and the company of Americans like Abraham religions”; and Fr. Mychal Judge, O.F.M., Lincoln, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Dorothy Day, chaplain to the New York Fire Department and Thomas Merton, St. Katharine Drexel, Cesar minister to the homeless, AIDS victims, and Chavez, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., recovering alcoholics, who was the first official there are many great reasons to claim a national victim of the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade identity at World Youth Day. A task for pilgrim Center while offering assistance to rescuers and leaders is to help youth and young adults the injured. Their examples are but a few that understand the heritage of mercy of these great provide a blueprint for mercy to those most in icons of American history and to follow in their need of comfort and healing—a mercy central footsteps by responding to the Lord’s call. to our Catholic faith yet also embedded in the history of our nation. As Abraham Lincoln said When your pilgrims travel outside the United only a few weeks prior to his assassination, States, will people see in them the one who said preaching a “gospel” of reconciliation and “with malice towards none, with charity for mercy to a war-weary nation in 1865: all”? Will they recognize, in U.S. pilgrims, the embodiment of the poem found on the Statue With malice towards none, with charity of Liberty: “give me your tired, your poor, your for all, with firmness in the right as God huddled masses yearning to breathe free”? gives us to see the right, let us strive on Most importantly, will they see American to finish the work we are in, to bind up the young people who, above all else, follow the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall one who mercifully says, “Come to me, all have borne the battle and for his widow who you labor and are heavy burdened, for and his orphan, to do all which may I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28)? achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. Being an American Catholic at World Youth Day means humbly bringing the highest ideals It is true that some might feel ashamed, afraid, of the nation (pioneering, unity, and mercy) and or embarrassed to let others know of their sharing them with one’s international peers, American heritage in international settings like while learning from others’ traditions and World Youth Day. One might be worried that cultures, so that they might come back to their the haughty or rude actions of other citizens native land inspired and ready to incorporate all could define them as well. However, when in of that into their local communities. 31