Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 14, 2001
WYD pilgrims prepare spiritually
Spiritual handbook in high demand locally
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Attending World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto will be no ordinary trip to Canada's largest city. It is a spiritual journey and youth are encouraged to prepare accordingly.
To help groups prepare spiritually for the event, the Catechetical Office of Quebec and National Office for WYD 2002 issued the handbook Salt and Light: Preparing for World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto.
For WYD catechesis coordinator Father Serge Comeau, WYD 2002 is an opportunity to rediscover the Gospel message. "This book tackles the fundamental themes of revelation and Church teaching through the centuries," said Comeau, of the Bathurst, N.B., Diocese.
Andrew Papenbrock, of the archdiocesan youth commission, told the WCR the book is a hit among small groups preparing for the event.
The commission ordered 250 copies for a starter but requests kept coming. Papenbrock placed another order with Novalis, the book's publisher.
The structure of the book is flexible so groups, individuals or a combination of both can use it.
"What's interesting about this book is that it offers different choices and different paths to take," Papenbrock said.
In each path, the group can highlight the prayer aspect or the service aspect of preparations, Papenbrock noted. Different groups in Edmonton will use the book according to their needs.
Young people from the parish at Enoch and its surrounding missions will read the book on their own. Every first Friday the group will attend Mass and one of them will share his or her reflection about the path designated for that month.
A mother from Enoch, Angela Andrejczuk, whose two sons are preparing for WYD, said she is impressed with the book and the stories included.
Andrejczuk particularly liked the story of Blessed Giorgio Frassati, an early 20th century Italian who was dedicated to prayer and serving the poor before dying at age 24.
Reading about Frassati made Andrejzcuk realize how real the young man was and how his life was committed to the virtues and the Beatitudes.
"Reading a story like this helps you get an answer to the questions that youth ask today, like the meaning of life, death and eternity."
Even before publication of the book, the Holy Rosary Parish youth group, led by the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, has been preparing for Toronto.
Aside from fundraisers, the sisters have constantly encouraged the 40 young people planning to attend WYD to be involved in their Polish parish. Now that Salt and Light is available, the group's spiritual preparation will be heightened.
"Parents are happy to see how their children are participating," said Sister Salutaria Sroka. "We can see the fruits of WYD even before it happened."
Sister Lazara Trindade said, "We hope that after the WYD they will stay and be active in our parish."
The sisters plan to do what the book suggests. When the WCR spoke to them they were on their way to pick up copies of the films the book recommended to stir reflection and discussion.
Salt and Light is the second book of a trilogy. The first is a collection of prayers for WYD and the third will be a post-WYD book to help people assimilate and reflect on the event.
Published in November, Salt and Light consists of eight chapters, each of which is designed as a path on the journey. Organizers hope small groups will study and reflect on one chapter a month before the big event.
Each path features a theme culled from the vast deposit of Christian teaching.
The eight paths are designed so small groups can outline their own journey, although the book suggests to begin with the first path, WYD: In Search of Love and Truth.
Other paths deal with topics such as discipleship, the moral life, the sacraments and prayer, and justice for the poor.
Each path consists of six parts. It opens with an invitation from the pope, selected from the text of his message for WYD 2002. The path then features a catechesis on the theme.
Stories of saints and/or experiences of people on their spiritual journeys are present in every path.
Saints like Thérèse of Lisieux, Josephine Bakhita of Sudan and Marguerite d'Youville among others, and those beatified like Kateri Tekakwitha, Andrew of Phu Yen, Vietnam, and Zenovij Kovalyk of Ukraine, are featured.
Modern disciples like Mother Teresa, Jean Vanier and Archbishop Oscar Romero, and stories of ordinary people, who faced extraordinary trials or simple day-to-day dilemmas, were also included.
Bible texts for reflection are outlined while list of suggested activities include:
At the end of each path there are suggested questions for group sharing.
- Watching and reflecting on thought-provoking films like Dead Poets Society, Dead Man Walking and Magnolia.
- Activities to increase ecological awareness.
- Learning about the Eastern churches.
- Offering services to charities.