World Youth Day leaders tell pilgrims to prepare sensibly, spiritually

IMAGE: CNS/Nancy Wiechec

By Colleen Dulle

WASHINGTON (CNS) — As World Youth Day approaches,
U.S. organizers offered tips on how pilgrims can prepare logistically, spiritually
and even digitally.

The largest U.S. group to attend a World
Youth Day outside of North America, 30,000 American pilgrims plan to attend the
July 26-31 festival in Krakow, Poland. They will join 2.5 million pilgrims from
around the world.

Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, the U.S. bishops’ episcopal liaison for World Youth
Day, said in a July 7
news conference that, despite security concerns in the European Union, “There
is no evidence of any credible threat being made.”

Jarzembowski, World Youth Day USA national coordinator, said his office has been
working with the Polish Embassy in Washington, along with the U.S. and Polish governments, to ensure
pilgrims’ safety.

At the news conference, he encouraged
participants to read the State
Department’s World Youth Day webpage and to sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which provides
travel alerts and warnings for Americans abroad.

The World Youth Day team also encouraged
pilgrims to finish registering if they had not already. In addition to the
30,000 fully registered participants, another 10,000 have yet to complete
registration and pay.

reminded participants to tell their banks that they’re traveling, take enough
of their medications, rest well before departing and stay hydrated in Poland.

Spiritually, he said, pilgrims can prepare
their hearts by praying regularly and docilely, asking for the Holy Spirit’s
guidance and being open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

“No one is excluded from the
pilgrimage,” Bishop Caggiano said.

Those staying home can follow along on
social media or through the World Youth Day app, which has not yet been

social media specialist
at the U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops’ Office of Public Affairs, also announced that a 360-degree
video would be used to record several of the World Youth Day events.

Jarzembowski encouraged pilgrims staying
home to “carve out time” to follow along on the app or to attend
World Youth Day gatherings across the U.S., including in Washington, Connecticut and Detroit.

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