The Palpable Love at World Youth Day

Phil reflects on the growing excitement ahead of this summer’s blockbuster pilgrimage.

The Sanctuary of Divine Mercy, in Krakow, which many WYD pilgrims will visit
The Sanctuary of Divine Mercy, in Krakow, which many WYD pilgrims will visit

World Youth Day is all I can think about now; it completely dominates my life. Having said that, how wonderful to have something so spiritually powerful and life-giving hanging over me – time with the Holy Father is pretty special.

Days and hours tick by and with so much still to finalise I’m thinking that the clock has tripped into warp drive!

The deadline for applications for the Westminster pilgrimage is Friday 27 May, which seems like just a few days away now. We’re committed to make the pilgrimage available for as many young people as we can and, given that applications continue to arrive, I’m really pleased that we let the doors open as late as we have.

We are to be accompanied by Bishop Nicholas and joined by Cardinal Nichols, and with Fr David Reilly orchestrating things I know we’ll all be in safe hands.

During our time in the Diocese of Łódź we have our own Mass and reconciliation service in their beautiful Cathedral, and our time with Chemin Neuf will help prepare us for the events to follow in Kraków. One highlight in Chemin Neuf’s Paradise in the City festival is undoubtedly the session of catechesis being led by Cardinal Tagle; but of course the journey and spiritual preparation ahead of Kraków is the main hope.

The events in Saint John Paul II’s city will be huge and, based on my experience of Rio, I suspect we’ll be swept away with the depth of the love circulating those attending. This is something my wife Ann recently said to a prospective pilgrim attending our Swing Dance evening:

“The love was palpable during my time in Rio. I might not have been be able speak the language of the pilgrim I was trying to talk to but a shared love overcame this problem every time. An experience like no other”.

So, if you are still undecided rest assured that there still is time to join us. Contact me or my team and we’ll talk you through everything. Don’t miss this opportunity.

God Bless!