It seems a long way away, but for our pilgrims
it is right around the corner. We are in
a crucial time of preparation for this wonderful
journey with other youth from around the World.
A Tour or a Pilgrimage?
World Youth Day 2016 will be held in Krakow, Poland. Although the prospect of traveling to a foreign country appeals to many, we recall that our participants will not go to Poland as tourists – they will go as pilgrims.
What is a Pilgrimage?
A pilgrimage is a journey a person makes to a sacred place for the purpose of venerating it or to ask for heavenly aid, and ultimately to come to know God better. Christian pilgrimages were first made to sites connected with the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Shortly after, pilgrimages started being made to Rome and other sites associated with the Apostles, Saints and Christian martyrs, as well as places where there had been apparitions of the Virgin Mary. In the past, pilgrims would leave their homes, families, and comforts to walk for hundreds of miles with nothing but what they could carry on their backs. Just as the pilgrims from the early centuries, we modern pilgrims also leave our homes, families and comforts in order to journey to sacred places.
The days of pilgrimage in Poland will be long, involved with prayer, catechesis and a lot of walking. We will get tired, yet it is in that very raw tiredness that God speaks. And we will be open to hear His voice.
You Can Journey With Us!
Not everyone can go on a pilgrimage of this magnitude. Some are called to go, while others are called to stay, and pray. But when we pray for one another, we carry the other on our pilgrimage, whether domestic or international. This is what excites us as WYD pilgrims! We will be carrying your intentions and the needs of our Parish community of Our Lady of the Annunciation with us!
Have a prayer intention? Let us Know!
We will be happy to carry the intentions of our benefactors with us as we make our way to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, and the home town of Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II) of Wadowice. We will also pray at Auschwitz-Birkenau where St Maximilian Kolbe and St Edith Stein gave their lives. Our pilgrimage will conclude with the Mass with the Holy Father, Pope Francis.
If you have an intention, please let us know and we will add it in our book of intentions that will travel with us on our Pilgrimage.
Do You Want to Help Us?
We are grateful for all of the support we have received so far, yet, there is more to do to cover the cost of the pilgrimage. Will you consider helping us financially? Here are some ways:
- participate in our fundraisers. These are promoted on the Youth & Young Adult Page of the Annunciation Parish Bulletin.
- invite your friends to participate. All of our events are geared to build community, and have a ‘feel good’ quality about them.They are always more fun with friends to share with!
- make a one-time donation to sponsor the youth. Maybe you are out of town when we have one of our food fundraisers, or for other reasons can’t participate. Consider contributing the cost of a meal to WYD pilgrims! If everyone helps a little, we will reach our fundraising goal in no time at all!
- pray. Above all, we humbly ask for prayers for the success of this first Parish sponsored pilgrimage to WYD. We hope that the young people who go will come back with a deepened love for their faith and for the Universal Church that they experience while in Krakow.
In the meantime, we take to heart the words of Pope Francis:
‘Put on Christ!’ in your life, and you will find a friend in whom you can always trust; ‘put on Christ’ and you will see the wings of hope spreading and letting you journey with joy towards the future; ‘put on Christ’ and your life will be full of his love; it will be a fruitful life.
Do not be afraid to ask God’s forgiveness! He never tires of forgiving us, like a father who loves us. God is pure mercy!
The WYD 2016 Pilgrims!