World Youth Day USA Guides International Pilgrimage Leaders Guide - Page 38

6. Be open to the Holy Spirit, prompting organizers to move those concluding events to Copacabana Beach. wherever he may be leading you. Pilgrim groups needed to adapt to the change The World Youth Day experience has many in their walking routes on Saturday and Sunday “unexpected” moments – from life-changing and to the inadequate number of toilet facilities ones to minor frustrations and surprises. at the new site. Yet, in the end, the event was Pilgrimage leaders should anticipate these incredibly memorable, the setting ideal, and the unexpected events and help pilgrims learn to pilgrims largely satisfied with the venue, adapt to sudden changes to the itinerary. Some especially among those whose leaders fostered a of the most memorable moments, both positive culture of adaptation and openness to change. and negative, cited by past World Youth Day While such drastic changes in the main participants have included surprise occasions schedule are rare, it is helpful for groups to that were not planned or scripted. consider all the possibilities when on an international pilgrimage. Such adaptability This awareness does not mean abandoning would not be possible without supportive careful or strategic planning on the part of teams and prayerful preparation, realizing that leaders or pilgrims; however, it is important to God is ultimately in charge. remember that adaptability can be one of the key values learned in the preparation process. Unexpected moments can also include chance On a theological level, the surprises and encounters with other pilgrims, with catechists sometimes “messiness” of the World Youth and confessors, with strangers on the way and Day experience are helpful as we lean on the local residents of the host nation, and most Holy Spirit to bring some sense of meaning importantly, with Christ. Consider walking and order to the challenges and even seeming pilgrims through a parable like the Good “chaos” that leaders and pilgrims encounter. Samaritan (Lk 10:29-37) – as the passers-by on the road to Jericho unexpectedly encounter a These unexpected moments may mean a beaten man along their way. Or the account of change in the location or timing of central the Final Judgment (Mt 25:31-46) when the events. At World Youth Day in 2013, the heavy righteous people cry out to God, “Lord, when rainstorms in Rio de Janeiro during the week’s did we see you hungry and feed you, and thirsty events caused flooding and safety concerns at and give you drink? When did we see yo R