With less than a year away to World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, the excitement and anticipation for this world gathering is mounting. The recent Holy Father's apostolic visit to the U.S. has also revved up the excitement among the young Church.
It was just last week I found photos of my first World Youth Day in August 2011 in Madrid. I reminisced of the pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Madrid with the great group of people from the Diocese of Brownsville (TX). It was my first international travel overseas and I was really excited. The week prior to the World Youth Day was spent visiting the beautiful sites of Lisbon, Fatima, Porto, Santiago de Compostela, Avila and Toledo. During the week of World Youth Day, the city buzzed with excitement for all the celebrations and most especially the Holy Father’s visit.
Though long lines and cold cuts sometimes conjure up my memories of World Youth Day, it’s normally images of large crowds of excited people clamoring to see the Pope. It was undoubtedly a powerful experience of pilgrimage, prayer, and community. It also provided a glimpse of how large and diverse the Church is. It's with the same excitement that I look forward to heading out to Krakow next year and celebrating the national celebration of World Youth Day next month on October 25, 2015.