WHEN someone embarks on a World Youth Day pilgrimage, the availability of daily Mass, adoration, communal prayer, reconciliation and praise and worship adds up to create countless opportunities for a tangible encounter with Christ.
After spending a week with millions of Catholics from all over the world praising God, who wouldn’t want to come home on fire for their faith?
But it doesn’t stop there.
Each young person attending WYD 2016 with the Brisbane Archdiocesan group will, upon returning home, take part in a ministry within a worshipping community for at least six months.
This may be music ministry, reading, altar serving, youth ministry, outreach and any other kind of ministry that keeps them connected within an inter-generational Catholic community.
This post WYD 2016 plan is important to us and our pilgrimage because we recognise that a mountain top experience can only last for so long.
If you are a parishioner or a member of a worshipping community who have ever sent young people to World Youth Day or any similar youth event, you too have a vital role to play for our pilgrims journeying to WYD 2016.
The importance of your role as a support person for pilgrims returning home is highly significant and should not be underestimated.
If you know of anyone who has been to World Youth Day or a similar youth event in the past, I challenge you to connect with that young person and ask what their experience was like and how life has been since.
It may just be the conversation they need to re-ignite the spark of faith they experienced.
So when the WYD 2016 pilgrims return home in August next year, the pilgrimage will be far from over.
It is at this point when you, the worshipping community, will be invited to step in and help to sustain their faith experience through your support and fellowship.
Zach Woodward is the Brisbane WYD Pilgrimage Co-ordinator