World Youth Day USA Guides Stateside Pilgrimage Leaders Guide - Page 63

GATHERING TOGETHER Similarities and Differences One of the most important things to do after We begin by looking at the similarities and World Youth Day is to gather together those differences of the stateside experience who traveled internationally with those who compared to the international one. If you are celebrated stateside. The one who travels going to have stateside pilgrims in dialogue overseas does not have a superior experience, with those who went abroad, it is important just a different one, albeit an exceptional one to know what aspects of their respective as a pilgrim to the event itself. experiences they can actually talk about in a meaningful way. Consider the analogy of the Super Bowl. Many people across the United States to More spiritual than physical watch the game – most through television and While the stateside pilgrim travels less (to get social media; a much smaller percentage to the gathering or journeying locally) than attend the game in person. Yet very few, if those who go overseas, the experience of any, people who go to a Super Bowl party feel pilgrimage is about the spirit of the journey, inferior to those with tickets to the big game. not simply the physical process of going from Their experiences are simply different. one place to another. Though the physical aspect is vitally important – and this speaks to The same can go for World Youth Day. The the uniqueness of the international WYD analogy is not perfect, given that the experience and other physical pilgrimages – international World Youth Day is a very the way that one understands the need for particular form of spiritual pilgrimage that moving spiritually and mentally during this covers several days, and the experiences there process is critical. When prepared well, a are indeed special and unique; likewise, World Youth Day pilgrim should know that stateside celebrations are not only about the physical goals are just markers for interior watching events unfold on a television or goals. The movement of one’s mindset from mobile device screen, but making an one state-of-being to another; the movement intentional journey on a local level in of one’s self to becoming a part of the larger solidarity with the Universal Church. community; the movement of one’s heart Nonetheless, it can be a basic analogy that from one way of seeing God to another way. conveys the distinctiveness of the experiences This movement is an essential part of any rather than comparing them to each other. pilgrimage experience, whether one travels 2, 61