by Rick Cheek
Pilgrimage is defined as “a journey a pilgrim 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.”
This summer the youth office, Archbishop Naumann, the vocations office, and a few other youth and adults will be making a pilgrimage to Krakow, Poland, for World Youth Day with, at the very least, two million other Catholics from around the world.
World Youth Day is an event organized by the church and started by St. John Paul II in 1985. Our prayer for this World Youth Day is to get to know God better, grow in our Catholic faith, experience the universal church and set the world on fire. Many vocations have come from making this kind of pilgrimage.
The World Youth Day theme announced this year by our Holy Father Pope Francis is: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”
With any pilgrimage, there will be challenges along the way. And that’s where you come in as the church of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. We ask for your prayers and, in return, ask you to send us your intentions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will pray for them on our journey. Let’s make this pilgrimage together.
Young people of faith, even if you’re not going on this trip, you can still make a pilgrimage with your family through the many Holy Doors designated by our archbishop. This could be a great spiritual journey each family could experience to grow in faith together and to learn more about each other along the way.
If you’re a young person looking to go deeper in your faith journey or walk a holier road with Jesus, this summer you could travel through the “Holy Gates” at Prairie Star Ranch in Williamsburg for Camp Tekakwitha. There are slots still open for Kateri, Camp T and high school for both boys and girls. If camp isn’t an option for you as a high school or college-age person, you can travel through the “Holy Gates” to attend the Teens Encounter Christ weekend Aug. 13-15 to get ready for the many challenges that come with a new school year.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to walk with God this summer. Think about these words of Pope Benedict: “The person who abandons himself totally in God’s hands does not become God’s puppet, a boring ‘yes man’; he does not lose his freedom. Only the person who entrusts himself totally to God finds true freedom, the great creative immensity of the freedom of good. The person who turns to God does not become smaller but greater, for through God and with God, he becomes great; he becomes divine; he becomes truly himself.”