I can’t believe the day is finally here; I’m writing this blog post from 20,000 feet, on my way to Germany. I’ll be there for a few days before traveling on to Krakow, Poland, meeting up with a friend from college as well as 2 million of my new best friends, including Pope Francis!
World Youth Day, held every 2 or 3 years is a gathering of 16-35 year-old Catholics from all around the globe. It’s a week of chatecesis, community, and celebration. I had the privilege to go in 2011 when it was held in Madrid, and I can attest to how pilgrims take over an entire major city- it’s beautiful chaos.
This year, I’m so looking forward to that energy and community. Grad school, while a worthwhile endeavor, took a lot out of me this year. Studying systems of inequality and injustice while working in the field, like I do at Listening House, is a lot to carry. I’m looking forward to being rejuvenated by the enthusiasm that everyone brings to this gathering.
In a special way, I’m also looking forward to reuniting with friends from Italy and France I met in Madrid at WYD 2011- thanks to the power of social media we’ve stayed in touch, and plan on meeting up once we’re all in Krakow. Also, like most Millennials, especially Catholics, I’m a huge Pope Francis fan! With so many people I probably won’t even get close to him, but just to hear him speak in person, to celebrate Mass with him and the millions of others outdoors Sunday morning after an all-night vigil, and to get his blessing, I’m thrilled. It feels like history in the making.
Pray for me, as I go, as I’ll pray for you. And look for a follow-up post- I promise to share stories and photos once I’m back in the States!