World Youth Day USA Guides Stateside Pilgrimage Leaders Guide - Page 20

and on websites in the parish, diocese, or being aware of their own encounters with other settings connected to the local others, as well as by supporting the young celebrations. The pilgrim leader can also people through challenging interactions. engage with youth or young adults who are The encounters – with Christ, the Church, assisting them in the development of the other pilgrims, and the many others along way stateside activities; while it may not be all the – will often lead to continued encounters far pilgrims, the ministry coordinator can deepen beyond the time experienced at World Youth the encounter with young leaders, enabling Day. On a practical level, social media, email, them to accompany their peers during the letters, and reunions provide means to event. Forming these relationships in advance continue the connections made there. On a of the stateside celebration can not only deeper level, those encounters and a more benefit the young people, but also the overall mature understanding of encountering Christ experience of the leader. and the Church help to support the growth of faith and encourage one another to be of An Encounter with Others service to the Lord, to the Church, and to the The time of pilgrimage, whether stateside or whole world. international, is also a time of encounter with others along the way. The others encountered ACCOMPANIMENT will be from a variety of backgrounds and life Pope Francis says: “The Church will have to situations. Some of them (including friends, initiate everyone – priests, religious and laity – families, and active members of the Church into this “art of accompaniment” which community) will be open to encounter with teaches us to remove our sandals before the the leader and with pilgrims, while others sacred ground of the other. The pace of this (including distant friends and acquaintances, accompaniment must be steady and vendors and secular partners, news media, and reassuring, reflecting our closeness and our the general public) will be indifferent at best compassionate gaze which also heals, liberates and hostile at worst. The important thing in and encourages growth in the Christian life.”15 all of these encounters for the young people is to be constantly welcoming, loving, and A pilgrimage leader is not simply an organizer, hospitable – truly witnessing “the joy of the but one who spiritually accompanies a Gospel.” Pilgrim leaders can assist them by community (and not just the young people, 15 Evangelii Gaudium, 169. 18