Thursday, 11 September 2008

WYD '08

World Youth Day is old news, I know, but tonight the five young people (and one adult) from our parish who travelled to Sydney (forming 3.5% of the total number of Westminster pilgrims) gave a splendid presentation about their experience.

They all testified to returning from WYD as changed people - as could be seen in the confidence with which they spoke about the Faith. They said that it had made them proud to be Catholic, brought them closer to God and more devoted to the Church and the Holy Father. Some had been to confession for the first time in years, others found a new desire to pray and one has begun attending Mass on weekdays, whenever possible. Another pilgrim is now co-ordinating our Confirmation programme.

Being a young person in London, and especially in a place like Hackney (with its poverty and high crime rate), is not easy, but the spirit of WYD seems to have given them hope and a sort of utopian vision of what society can be like - they compared the coldness of London to the warmth of Sydney during the festival, where strangers greeted each other and many friendships made, united in the One Faith.

Even the non-Catholic representatives of a local charity that had donated a substantial amount of money to pay for the flights thought the whole thing a worthwhile 'investment.' It certainly is, but the challenge now is to ensure that this enthusiasm is channelled in the right direction and built upon, especially since some of the young people are now starting University.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Berenike said...

I was quite "rah" before I went to WYD in Rome, and it still had a huge effect on me. You have hit it exactly with the "utopian" description. The contrast between Rome during WYD and Rome any other time ... Sometimes I trudge down the street in the Catholic city in which I live, and wonder why we don't all greet each other with warm smiles of recognition, since we are all partakers of the mysteries etc. At WYD the pretence/defence drops away.

11:54 pm  

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