Before going to Rio, I listened to a message from our Archbishop Vincent Nichols. He was talking about World Youth Day pilgrims feeling “part of the universal Church” whilst out in Brazil. This was true of my experience. We met Catholics from absolutely all over the world: Australia, the USA, Germany, Canada, Argentina and, of course, Brazil. Lots from Brazil!
The atmosphere at World Youth Day was unlike anything I have ever experienced before. People you’ve never met smile at you, take photos with you and share their faith and their joy with you. It was a wonderful reminder that we as Catholics in England are part of a Church that stretches across the globe and that we share our Church with millions of brothers and sisters from all nations.
Whilst meeting the faithful from other countries was fantastic, I felt a wonderful sense of fellowship within our own group from Westminster. We prayed together, ate together, talked and laughed together, and it really is a joy to have made all of these new friends.
Daniel McLaughlin, Ponders End Parish