THROUGHOUT the planning and preparation that goes into organising pilgrimages for WYD2016, a lot of focus has been on how best to
prepare and support pilgrims throughout the WYD pilgrimage experience.
It is just as essential, however, to consider the question of what happens after WYD and how we can support pilgrims after this “mountain top” experience?
In 2014, Archbishop Anthony Fisher explored the effectiveness of events like World Youth Day and the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, writing that “in the long run, (their) effectiveness … depends hugely on the formation that is offered in advance of attendance and the follow-up that occurs afterwards: what opportunities there are for sharing, evangelising, worshipping, leading and serving for those who will go and for those who return on fire with faith”.
Archbishop Fisher highlights the essentiality of a thriving community of faith that both prepares and welcomes home pilgrims.
When those opportunities mentioned by Archbishop Fisher are available, pilgrims are able to integrate their “mountain top’” experience of WYD with the way they live out their faith in their everyday life.
The good news for pilgrims travelling to WYD from the Archdiocese of Brisbane is that there are an abundance of youth and young adult initiatives for them to connect with when they return home. The Youth Evangelisation Office recently launched a new website which showcases these initiatives, including parish youth groups, young adult groups, tertiary ministries, social justice opportunities, along with a number of other faith communities and events.
You can browse all of these at www.catholiccollective.org.au
Through the number of thriving and supportive youth and young adult initiatives in Brisbane, it is clear that the young church in the Archdiocese of Brisbane is well and truly alive.
As a pilgrimage community, we are grateful knowing that our WYD experience will be sustained when we fly home, with opportunities to encounter Christ and share our faith through so many different initiatives across the archdiocese.
Those following the WYD pilgrimage from home should keep an eye out on The Catholic Leader’s website and social media pages to stay up to date with the movements of pilgrims in Krakow from July 25 to July 31.