World Youth Day USA Guides International Pilgrimage Leaders Guide - Page 40

to embark on missionary work in their home interest and excitement about pursuing any country or overseas. Whatever it might be, vocation, whether it be the priesthood, World Youth Day experiences can become an consecrated life, or marriage, or about integral part of the vocational discernment following a call to special form of service or process, opening young people up to the ministry, including lay ministry. On the topic of possibility that their lives might be headed in a priesthood alone, the role of the youth and new direction in response to God’s call and young adult ministry leader is one of the most fueled by such an international gathering. important factors in the mentorship of those who discern that calling. Encourage and help Pilgrim leaders, then, are encouraged to help them walk through their next steps. youth and young adults in this discernment journey, before, during, and after the events of World Youth Day is full of unexpected World Youth Day. Consider collaborating with surprises, some frustrating, and others local priests and religious communities, as well invigorating. Instead of having pilgrims see as marriage ministry leaders and other lay those moments as failures of planning or ecclesial ministers, to walk with the young unfortunate circumstances, stress how those people on pilgrimage, to serve as mentors and occasions are ways that the Holy Spirit is spiritual directors (especially on any retreats, moving through the activities of the pilgrimage. reflection days, or service projects), and to On a vacation, when things go differently than speak to the pilgrims about their vocation story. expected, there is stress. On an excursion or During World Youth Day events in Kraków, be adventure, the unexpected can be quite aware of opportunities for young people to dangerous to the traveler. But on a pilgrimage, connect with priests, religious sisters and the sudden turn of events can be seen as brothers, lay ministers, and married couples opportunities given by God to encourage us to who are part of the events, especially if they explore new paths and open our hearts to new had previously expressed interest in those promptings of the Holy Spirit. vocational pursuits. After the return home, follow up with any pilgrims who had been Even as leaders, accepting this reality can be discerning those pathways, as well as those who difficult, as having everything go according to began to express interest because of the plan can eliminate stress and anxiety; however, inspiration or formation in Kraków. In all of the Holy Spirit challenges pastoral leaders as this, be positive and open to those who express much as pilgrims on this international journey. 38