"GO MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS!" (Matthew 28:19-2013 WYD Theme)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Reflections from our WYD pilgrimage walk

If you were looking for Christ on April 28th, He was with over 70 pilgrims attending a World Youth Day pilgrim walk.  Our group of pilgrims from Holy Family joined other parishes from around the Archdiocese (all of whom are attending the World Youth Day Home event in Chicago) for an full day of programming at the Cranbrook Science Institute.

The AOD official World Youth Day banner...don't you just love that
quote from Pope Francis? 

We started off the morning with a talk and reflection from Fr. Tim Birney who is the director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Detroit.  He shared his own thoughts and reflections on pilgrimage as he prepares to take 35 men discerning the priesthood on pilgrimage in June to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.  Fr. Birney talked about how going on a pilgrimage actually calls to be a more intentional disciple of Jesus Christ.

We then had lunch and began our 2.7 mile walk around some the beautiful trails around the Cranbrook campus...mind you it rained the whole time, but our spirits were held high....everything in WYD is about your perspective and how you choose to look at it; so we all decided to make the best out of it.  We hiked our way to Christ Church Cranbrook.  It this this absolutely beautiful Episcopal cathedral on the campus of Cranbrooke.  We enjoyed the pastor showing us around their spiritual home and were able to participate in a guided reflection and had a time of quiet prayer/journaling.  After some bathroom breaks and taking some more pictures, we hiked back to the science center.

inside Christ Church...so beautiful!
This is the only picture we got before the camera died :(

Upon returning, we split up into small discussion groups based on our parishes and just shared and talked.  Then we had free time to explore the science center for about 40 minutes before we had Mass.
Deacon Kevin, our male chaperone was able to vest for Mass, and it was special to have a leader in our group participate....even if Patty forgot to get of picture of it! It's okay, we still like her ;-)

Mass was beautiful...I mean isn't it always, nothing beat the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus, right??? ;-)  Fr. Tony Rictor, the pastor from Christ the Good Shepherd in Lincoln Park gave a great homily on leaving a spiritual legacy.  What is the spiritual legacy we want to remain of our lives, when we are someday gone?  Fr. Tony definitely let us all with some encouraging thoughts as we ended our day of prayer and reflection together.

Lots of teens and adults from other parishes joined our group for
this day...yay new friends!

The WYD cross...it is marked with the names of parishes from all over the diocese...
The symbolism of this picture is so striking...the cross leaning up against the tree...
"This is the wood of the cross, on which on hung the Savior of the world."

Sure it rained all day, and we were wet and cold at times...but it was a wonderful day nonetheless!
In the coming weeks, we'll meet another group who is traveling to Rio with us and have a day retreat at the parish just for our pilgrims to better prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate with Pope Francis this July.

Lastly, I'll leave you all with these words of Pope Francis from his Palm Sunday homily:

Dear young people! With Christ, the heart never grows old! Yet all of us, all of you know very well that the King whom we follow and who accompanies us is very special: he is a King who loves even to the Cross and who teaches us to serve and to love. And you are not ashamed of his Cross! On the contrary, you embrace it, because you have understood that it is in giving ourselves, in giving ourselves, in emerging from ourselves that we have true joy and that, with his love, God conquered evil. You carry the pilgrim Cross through all the Continents, along the highways of the world! You carry it in response to Jesus’ call: “Go, make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19), which is the theme of World Youth Day this year. You carry it so as to tell everyone that on the Cross Jesus knocked down the wall of enmity that divides people and nations, and he brought reconciliation and peace. Dear friends, I too am setting out on a journey with you, starting today, in the footsteps of Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI. We are already close to the next stage of this great pilgrimage of the Cross. I look forward joyfully to next July in Rio de Janeiro! I will see you in that great city in Brazil! Prepare well – prepare spiritually above all – in your communities, so that our gathering in Rio may be a sign of faith for the whole world. Young people must say to the world: to follow Christ is good; to go with Christ is good; the message of Christ is good; emerging from ourselves, to the ends of the earth and of existence, to take Jesus there, is good! Three points, then: joy, Cross, young people.”

Folks. this. is. real.Let's continue to prepare our hearts and minds.