ALCORCON City, Spain, August 19, 2011—The bishop of the diocese of New York in the United States urged World Youth Day (WYD) delegates not to let the inconveniences they encounter smear their experience of the global youth gathering that they are participating in Madrid.
In a catechetical talk he imparted to WYD delegates, including Filipinos, in San Juan de Mata Parish in Alcorcon City yesterday, Bishop William Murphy told WYD pilgrims to remind each other that WYD is not the time to complain about the discomfort that they are enduring.
Murphy apparently has in mind WYD pilgrims who complain about sleeping on the floor of classrooms, school gyms, and sports centers, bathing in communal shower rooms, walking long distances to get to WYD events simultaneously held in different venues around Madrid, and enduring the summer heat vis-à-vis the very busy week that is the on-going WYD week.
Echoing Murphy’s words, Fr. Conegundo Garganta of the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines urged Filipinos to see merit behind the inconveniences that they are experiencing in participating in the WYD.
“This pilgrimage is meant for us to experience suffering and sacrifices as a way of purifying our intentions and motivation. It is a form of penance and we have to be open to the discomfort and pain that we will experience during WYD and offer this sacrifice to God,” Garganta said.
Garganta, being the leader of the ECY-Philippines delegation, whose group of 425 pilgrims is the biggest from the country, admitted hearing complaints from Filipino delegates about the inconvenience of the accommodation, the discomfort of eating European type of dishes, and the experience of nausea and sore feet because of long walks during the past days.
“Ours is not a perfect delegation. There are expressions of discomfort and inconvenience. But if after their WYD experience, what lingers is the complaint and not the meaning of it, it is a loss on their part,” he said.
“We should be open to these inconveniences, suffering and pain and consider it as a way of sharing the sacrifice that God has endured for us. It has to be clear with the delegates that this pilgrimage is a spiritual experience and they should not be seeking any comfort and convenience from it,” he added. (YouthPinoy)