It’s wonderful that a large group of our young adult and youth communities from across the diocese will be journeying with us to Krakow in July and it was encouraging that so many were able to join us at our first pre-WYD meet-up in February.
We must, though, reflect that not everyone has the time or financial capacity to make the journey with us, and it is important to provide alternative signposting.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, in his ‘A Pilgrimage Companion for the Year of Mercy’, reflects on Pope Francis’ desire that we should recognise that the Jubilee Year is a fresh opportunity to experience the great mercy of God. Cardinal Vincent reminds us that Pope Francis also wrote ‘Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness’ (Misericordiae Vultus 2).
Cardinal Nichols encourages us in his companion ‘To go through this door and experience the mercy of God everyone has to make a journey, a pilgrimage’.
Beyond World Youth Day, I would suggest that you consider joining up with the Diocese Pilgrimage to Walsingham on 9 July – most Parishes or Deaneries are arranging coaches and the day will be another real opportunity to witness your faith alongside thousands of other pilgrims, all on the same journey.
Of course, there will be parish pilgrimages to Westminster Cathedral, to enable you to walk through the Door of Mercy; and there are Doors of Mercy in each Deanery for you to visit.
The opportunities to undertake a pilgrimage in the Year of Mercy are endless – please grasp the opportunity.
All my prayers.