WOW. I didn't realize how long it has been since we updated and shared news of our preparations.
To date, it is less than 6 months till we leave for Rio, where has the time went!?!?!?!?
Here's a run-down of what is new with our group of pilgrims.
A few weeks ago we had another pilgrim evening of bonding and reflection. Our other female adult chaperone, Jacqueline hosted us for a great night of tasty Mexican food, play the most hysterical game (a cross of Pictionary and Telephone. SO fun:) and also did some large group sharing/reflection and went over some specifics. One such thing was we decided on an official Group name. You ready for it??? We are the "Green Zebra's". So to carry out the theme and help identify our group while traveling we have ordered the most crazy neon green, zebra print bandanna's I could find! We are all kinda stoked about that:) We also are writing individual, personal covenants, and later together as a group we will write a group covenant. The personal covenants are ways for each of the pilgrims to keep in check how they are personally participating and handling the pilgrimage. The group covenant will be helpful is laying out rules, expectations, and what we expect of each other as we travel together. Two of our pilgrims, Lauren and Jacqueline, are also designing two group shirts for us to wear. One will be for the day we leave, and the other the day we return home. I have found it helpful especially in large airports, its easier to distinguish group members by a similar shirt.
At the end of January, we had an important meeting with an Archdiocesan person from the Youth Ministry office downtown. Laura Piccone Hanchon is a veteran Youth Minister and World Youth Day extraordinaire. She has even been to Rio to check things out and even met with the official WYD committee. Her insight, tips, and preparation ideas are SO helpful to us in planning and making sure we are all prepared for this amazing experience. We are going to have Laura come back in June to go over some final details and also get a crash course in Portuguese! ;-)
In April, we are participating a WYD day pilgrimage walk. It will be for us going to Rio and also groups attending the "World Youth Day Home" festivities in Chicago. The day will consist of Mass, group catechesis, time for personal reflection, lunch, and of course walking. Last time I attended this event, we even had a Eucharistic procession through the city and neighborhoods...such a neat experience.
Our group has also found out that we have more pilgrims joining our pilgrimage from Detroit. A Brazilian priest and group of young people from a Ukrainian Catholic Church in Hamtramck will be joining us along with the group from Winona, MN. We're looking forward to traveling together and sharing the experience with them!
Please keep our group in your prayers, and know you remain in ours! If as we prepare, you have special intentions you would like us to keep in our prayers, please let us know! :)
Stay tuned for more exciting World Youth Day updates...
God bless :)