World Youth Day (WYD), the largest youth event in the world, convenes July 26-31, 2016 in Krakow, Poland. Organized by the Catholic Church, the event gathers young people from around the world to build bridges of friendship and hope between continents, peoples and cultures. St. Peter’s has participated in WYD pilgrimages to Rome in 2000; Toronto, Canada in 2002; Cologne, Germany in 2005; Sydney, Australia in 2008; and Madrid, Spain in 2011. This WYD we have 13 people representing our parish at this monumental gathering. It is a once-in-a-lifetime event for most young people, though we have several who have participated before. What a tremendous opportunity to grow in faith, build lifelong friendships, and foster a deep and abiding friendship with Jesus Christ!
Just imagine joining with other young Catholics in prayer, celebration, devotion and friendship. Youth from around the world will make a pilgrimage of faith, come together as one and experience the love of God through many different activities and spiritual events, including opportunities for celebrating Mass and the sacrament of reconciliation. Events include catechetical sessions with bishops of the world, daily Mass, nighttime concerts by contemporary music artists known the world over, witness talks, and an overnight vigil and Mass with the Holy Father, Pope Francis. Before arriving in Poland, we will visit Prague (including a visit to the chapel where the Infant of Prague Statue is located) and take a bus trip through the Czech Republic. After our arrival in Krakow, we will make a solemn pilgrimage to Auschwitz and Birkenau; visit Lagiewniki and the Divine Mercy Center with Mass at the Shrine and stop at the convent where St. Faustina lived; a journey to Wadowice and the birthplace of St. Pope John Paul II; and a visit to Czestochowa and the chapel of the miraculous painting of the Black Madonna. Then the WYD activities begin!
As our group begins their final preparations for this milestone journey, we are asking our parish family to hold them all in prayer, by name from now until their return on August 1. The names of our youth and chaperons are listed below:
John Kennedy Jr. Darrell Flesher
Matthew Foreman Hannah McMillen
Doreen Sciarratta Gavin Arvizo
Shelby Drake (Arvizo) Kristi Davidson
Meghan Kennedy Kendall McMillen
Kyle McMillen Rebecca Portner
Rose Sciarratta Collin Ward
Many thanks for your interest and support in the spiritual lives of our parish youth. God bless