Dear Local Coordinators,
In speaking about the Church and mercy, Pope Francis said, “I have often thought about how the Church might make clear its mission of being a witness to mercy. It is [a] journey that begins with a spiritual conversion. For this reason, I have decided to call an extraordinary Jubilee that is to have the mercy of God at its center.”
MAGIS 2016, as a pilgrimage, is a great opportunity for you, as a Jesuit apostolate, to accompany young adults in the spiritual experience that Pope Francis speaks of. It will be a time “to be touched by the Lord Jesus and to be transformed by his mercy,” as Pope Francis described the Holy Year, “so that we may become witnesses to mercy.”
Poland is the Land of Divine Mercy, home to St. Faustina and St. John Paul II, and will be even more so during MAGIS and World Youth Day 2016. As pilgrims at MAGIS 2016, your young adults will take a journey that will challenge them to experience God’s mercy for themselves and to celebrate it and commit themselves to being witnesses to it in our world. I invite you to join in making clear the merciful mission of the Church and look forward to your participation!
Brad Held, S.J.
U.S. MAGIS Coordinator
Important Dates for MAGIS 2016
Below you will find a list of some of the important dates that will enable your group to participate in MAGIS in 2016:
|October 30, 2015
||Last day for local coordinators to submit their expected number of participants.
|November 13, 2015
||Local coordinators will be notified of their initial allotments.
|December 18, 2015
||Last day for local coordinators to submit their final list of pilgrims with email addresses.
||MAGIS 2016 registration takes place
|July 15, 2016
||MAGIS 2016 begins in Lódz
|August 1, 2016
||Return date to the U.S.
Explanation of the Process
Given the complexity of the application for MAGIS 2016, we at the Jesuit Conference have outlined the process in 5 stages:
Stage 1: Promote and Recruit
This initial phase begins immediately. We ask local coordinators to promote the program through October 2015. See ideas below for recruitment or contact Brad Held, S.J., U.S. MAGIS Coordinator, for assistance.
Stage 2: Allotment and Selection
Not every apostolate will have the same demand for MAGIS 2016 due to size and economic realities. We will gauge interest among Jesuit apostolates in order to most effectively allocate participant spaces assigned to the United States by the international coordinators of MAGIS in Poland.
This stage will begin locally through a selection process. The goal of the selection process is to ensure that prospective pilgrims view their participation as a pilgrimage, rather than a vacation. It is up to the local coordinator to determine their own timeline and process for selection of pilgrims. Coordinators may choose to accept applications, conduct interviews, or use a different method. You might examine what selection process your apostolate uses for service trips, retreats, etc., and use a similar procedure for MAGIS 2016 selection. The key here is to not finalize your selections until you have received your allotment from the U.S. Coordinator.
Local coordinators will then submit a request to the U.S. Coordinator identifying the number of spaces desired for their group. After reviewing all submitted numbers, the U.S. Coordinator will notify the local coordinators of the number of spaces that have been allotted for their groups. Local coordinators can then use their allotted number to make selections and inform pilgrims of their decisions. We recommend that you await notification of your initial allotment before making selections.
Stage 3: Registration
Local coordinators will confirm their participants and send a final list of participants and email addresses to the U.S. Coordinator. In January, this list will be used to send individual participants a link to the registration website. Each participant will complete their own registration, which will require information such as emergency contacts, copies of the passport photo page, and health insurance card.
At a yet-to-be determined time, each group will be responsible for making payment for the program via electronic transfer to the MAGIS central account in Poland. Directions on how to complete payment, along with exact amounts, will be available later from the organizing committee in Poland.
State 4: Preparation
Local groups should prepare physically and spiritually for MAGIS 2016, meeting regularly to reflect and pray together. The Jesuit Conference will make spiritual preparation materials available beginning January 2016. Additionally, groups might consider learning some basic Polish phrases, fundraise for the trip, and share in a retreat or service project.
Stage 5: Witamy w Polsce! (Welcome to Poland!)
Ideas for Recruitment
MAGIS and World Youth Day will give pilgrims the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gather with young adults from around the world and with Pope Francis, whose popularity will no doubt be a draw for many.
To drum up additional enthusiasm and encourage more young men and women to consider attending MAGIS, local coordinators can recruit pilgrims with the suggestions below.
At colleges and universities:
• Ask faculty members to recommend students who would benefit from such a program and can subsequently encourage and invite them to participate.
• Perform basic outreach to the various student organizations within campus ministry programs and consider extending in-person invitations at group meetings.
• Consider personally inviting students who may not be regulars at programs in campus ministry, but are committed leaders within the community through student government, athletics, or service.
• Word of mouth is the best tool, particularly among students. Recruit a core group of two or three pilgrims and ask them to spread the word.
• Meet with potential pilgrims as quickly as possible to begin forming good group dynamics and begin to brainstorm fundraising ideas.
• Reach out to your young adult ministry and extend a personal invitation to this group.
• Consider personally inviting young adults who are in parish leadership positions or who show potential for leadership.
Fundraising for Kraków 2016
We estimate the total expense of the trip, including program fees and airfare, to be approximately $1,500 USD per person. Fundraising, which can help build group camaraderie before a trip, is a must. To help pilgrims raise enough funds to sponsor their pilgrimage to Kraków, here are a few ideas:
Ask individuals to invest in your pilgrimage by taking part in a spiritual communion with you while you are in Poland. “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” (1 Cor 12:26-27
) — if one member is on pilgrimage, all can spiritually join in the pilgrimage. The hope is that by inviting others to support you financially on pilgrimage, you will carry with you their prayers and needs.
Faculty and staff at Jesuit schools can help by hosting a meal for a few students. Ask faculty or staff who are willing to help out to contribute a meal, then hold an auction to sell off those meals to the highest bidder. The auction event itself can also serve as a great way to raise awareness, and can be an opportunity to sell other items to fundraise.
MAGIS Night at a Restaurant
Ask a local restaurant to consider cutting your group in on some of the profits for an evening if you promote their business and tell diners to mention they are there to support your pilgrimage. Make sure to highlight the direct community service component of the MAGIS program in order to garner support.