First of all, it is important to realize that CLC in Poland has a relatively low percentage of youth. The youngest members are between 26 and 35 years old (14%), employed or taking care of their young families. With the majority being post-youth (although young in spirit, of course), there was no such thing as a structured top-down plan for our participation in the WYD. Most of the engagement in the event comes from individual CLC members, as they help financially through the “Adopt a pilgrim” initiative or agree to host young people at home during their stay in parishes throughout the country. Officially, CLC will be visible during this time in the area called the Forum of Vocation. This idea was developed by Najat Sayegh from Lebanon, the secretary of the CLC World ExCo. Together with some international CLC volunteers (with Poles among them), she will be sharing and promoting what can be called the CLC vocation.
For CLC Poland WYD means also the Jesuit MAGIS experiments that will start a week earlier. It is worth mentioning that about twenty Polish CLC members are actively involved in the preparation of MAGIS. Jesuits had asked the Community for support many months ago, and we responded, but again individually (or in tandems). The experiments prepared by our members will concern such areas as ecology, art (icons, music) or history (a baptism-centered pilgrimage along one of the Polish routes of Camino de Santiago). Moreover, “our people” prepared Ignatian meditation points for the MAGIS pilgrim’s booklet, and wrote the text of a leaflet-based advert of our Community, distributed among the participants of MAGIS:
“We are an international (over 80 countries all over the world) and intergenerational (members aged 18-100) lay community of people who want to strive for MAGIS in daily life, with the help of the formative tool called Ignatian spirituality. Learning to better understand ourselves, and to deepen our relationship with the Lord and each other, we are learning how to give an ever-fuller response to God’s call right where we are. Young people shared: “CLC gives me inspiration and motivation for growth, effort, perseverance. It gives me strength at the time of weakness. CLC gives me a circle of friends in the Lord: true friendship and support. It gives me time to stop and search for God’s opinion. It’s my place in Church”. It can be yours, as well.”
Finally, it is crucial to state with conviction that CLC Poland understands the potential of the WYD for the spiritual awakening of our youth and has already scheduled a national meeting during which ways of taking spiritual care of WYD and MAGIS (!) participants after the events will be discussed. Important insights and ideas are going to stem from the fruitful October 2015 Eurolink Meting in Ljubljana.