By Fr. Pawel Stawarczyk
As I was heading with my group to the WYD 1997 in Paris, I was carrying in my mind this (European) stereotype of Parisians as arrogant and self-centered people who barely tolerate non-Parisians as a necessary evil. As we were dispatched to host families who volunteered to offer their homes to thousands of pilgrims, my friend and I took up residence for a week in the living room of a cramped apartment of a young couple with two toddlers. They had little to do with religion but enjoyed the idea of hosting pilgrims to WYD.
They turned out to be very friendly and very curious about our countries, our lives and our religion. On leaving their home and their gracious hospitality a week later, I knew that I learned something very important – do not believe stereotypes.
I am glad I could experience this firsthand – thanks to WYD 1997.
Hi Co-Pilgrims to WYD 2016,
This blog space is for us to get a better start to WYD 2016 through exchange of experiences and information.
Among other things, we would like to invite you to share your experiences from former WYDs. To keep it simple, please, limit your contribution to one particular memory and limit it to 300 words or less. However, you can send us many contributions (as long as each applies to one memory). Why? Because we want a meaningful exchange that allows others to better understand the WYD concept rather than a collage of happy-clappy typed-on-the-spur-of-the-moment travel compilations.
Fr. Pawel Stawarczyk
1. One memory (good or bad – everything helps)
2. 300 words or less
3. It allows the readers to understand WYDs better, get prepared better, etc.