For Belgian youth the Wold youth Day 2016 is more than just a week-end with the pope Francis in Kraków. The Belgian dioceses have offered a wide number of choices to nourish the youth spiritually, humanly as well as culturally. To achieve that different route options have been proposed, namely: Europa, Discover and Express, to mention but just some.
Different route options
The route Europa gives the youth the opportunity to visit different shrines of the North Europe during one week. From Belgium the group Europa took the route to Amsterdam from where they continued to other towns such as Hambourg, Koszalin, Gdansk and Varsovie.
The route Discover gives the youth the opportunity to discover important places in Poland, especially in Lublin before the week-end with the pope. The trip begins in Battice, province of Liège in Belgium, to Lublin via Berlin.
Another route is Express especially for those who, because of work or studies, cannot afford at this time to be absent more than a week. So different from other group that travel by bus, the group Express fly straight to Kraków. Apart from these routes to Poland, there is another one quite special.
Come & See
It’s a Belgian internal route called Come & See. I would say it’s WYD Belgium. Here a certain number of young people, both those going to Poland and those who are not going, do a WYD pilgrimage in six different towns of Belgium, namely: Braine-l’Alleud, Fleurus, Wavre, Namur, Arlon and Embourg. This gives the opportunity to those who are not going to Kraków to experience the joy of the WYD brought to them in their own town and parish.
Firstly it concerns the youth themselves who embark on this route Come & See. The youth do this spiritual journey part of it by walking, accompanied by spiritual reflections mainly on the beatitudes. The other part of the journey is done in the train. In the evening at the parish church there’s a prayer vigil on either the meeting of Jesus with Zacchaeus or with the sinful woman. This prayer vigil is open to all people.
Such events are acted out in the way that engages every person to live out such experiences spiritually and bodily through certain gestures. Where possible, the young people do also some work of charity like a visit to the retirement houses. They also go in the streets to meet people and invite them personally to come to this prayer vigil.
Interaction with parish community
There’s also a good social and spiritual interaction with the local parish community. After the mass in the evening, before the prayer vigil, the youth share the meal with the parish community. And after the vigil, around 22:00 hours, the youth are welcomed in different families where they spend the night. The following morning the youth continue their route not only with a bite offered by the family for lunch but also with prayer intentions.
It’s human to share experiences especially those that make us grow in humanity. Since I took part in this Come & See I’d love to share with you some experiences. So don’t miss out highlights that I will post on this blog.