World Youth Day USA Guides Stateside Pilgrimage Leaders Guide - Page 65

different from their own, but they may still be CONNECTING COMMUNITIES able to enter into dialogue and experience with people of other cultures. Many stateside Immediate Follow-Up for Pilgrims events can include some sort of cultural piece Any World Youth Day pilgrim (stateside or that celebrates the music, dance, and food of international) will to need to process the the international host country (Poland). experience on a variety of levels. Some of that has hopefully been done throughout the In addition, there could be opportunities for experience itself. Opportunities for small stateside pilgrims to meet people from group conversations and reflections, different cultural experiences in North journaling, and quiet prayer are highly America. Whether that diversity comes from encouraged as part of any pilgrimage geography (rural, urban, suburban), cultural experience (stateside or international). origin (European, African, Hispanic, Asian, Native American), class (rich, middle class, At the conclusion of the event, pilgrims poor), or region (East Coast, West Cost, should be reminded that, when they return, Midwest, South), there are plenty of there is an expectation that all participants opportunities to engage with various will share their experience with their populations. If your stateside event does not community of origin (whether that be their include these options, it may be something to family, friend network, parish, diocese, consider in the planning process. campus, workplace, or movement). This can be done by writing reflections to share in Understanding how World Youth Day is a communications; via social media; preparing celebration of catholicity (universality) helps a formal presentation for parishioners, leaders to better create an experience that ministry groups, or Catholic events; or sharing allows people to reflect on their own culture of few words about the pilgrims’ experiences and put that in dialogue with other cultures, and thanking the local community for their all in the light of Christ. prayers and support. Spending time planning some kind of reflection, whether done Understanding the degree to which stateside formally or otherwise, is incredibly helpful pilgrims are exposed to such diversity will be for both stateside and international pilgrims helpful to know how this conversation will as they return from the experience and back unfold with international participants. to everyday life. 63