Month: July 2016

Saturday, July 30th and Sunday, July 31st

Saturday, July 30th and Sunday, July 31st

What an amazing two days it has been! Luckily we had beautiful weather for the start of the big climax of World Youth Day. We set out early on Saturday morning and walked through the Old Town one last time to Mass with Cardinal Sean at St. Mary’s Church, which is right next to the Square in the Center of Town. It was such a beautiful morning to enjoy the city’s old buildings once more. After the Mass it was time to set out on the long hike to Campus Misericordiae for the overnight vigil and Mass with the Pope. We

Friday, July 29th

Friday, July 29th

After breakfast this morning we posed for a group photo with the staff from the hotel who have been so great to us. All public transport is free for pilgrims and the tram system is great especially since we have a stop right outside our hotel,so we took the tram to the Mercy Centre for Catechesis this morning. The Centre is the huge stadium we attended on Wednesday.   Here the theme of the Catechesis was “The Cross”. After music and bands playing the first speaker was Sr. Gaudia Skass who is a Divine Mercy nun. She told us that

Thursday, July 28th

Thursday, July 28th

We started a little later today and had small group sessions where we talked about our highs and lows, and moments on the pilgrimage where we have felt God’s presence in a new or deeper way. It is good to be reflecting on these things as we go because otherwise the whole week can seem like a whirlwind of activity and emotion. Many of the pilgrims have had deeply spiritual experiences already and as we get to know each other better and build up more trust in our relationships it is easier to share these personal moments. We had Mass

Wednesday, July 27th

Wednesday, July 27th

We made it to our early breakfast and then headed straight out to the Kraków Arena which has been renamed as the “Mercy Centre” for World Youth Day. All the events here throughout the week are being hosted by The Knights of Columbus.  The whole city is full of catchesis sites which are divided by language and catchesis is provided for today and the next two days.  We took a train to get here – all public transport is free with our WYD passes.       There were speakers and events organized for the whole day today starting with

Tuesday, July 26th

Tuesday, July 26th

Today started with a welcome late breakfast time of the 9:15! After breakfast, prayers and small group meetings we set out for a day exploring the city. We walked through the Market Square which is getting busier very time we go through. From the other side of the square we headed for Wawel hill where the castle and the cathedral are situated. Along the way we saw many groups from around the world and had the chance to interact with them. This usually consists of jumping into each others’ group photos! Outside the castle is a statue of a dragon

Monday, July 25th

Monday, July 25th

Today started with breakfast followed by a 2 hour ride on the bus to visit Auschwitz. We had prepared our young people as well as we could for their visit and they have learned about the Holocaust at school, but nothing can prepare them for how they will feel when they are actually walking around Auschwitz. There is a special route around the camp which is available for all the World Youth Day pilgrims who will visit this week and we walked around quietly and respectfully. We were given a leaflet especially prepared for WYD pilgrims and I think the

Sunday, July 24th

Sunday, July 24th

We woke up to another beautiful day in Warsaw. The temperature is around 80 degrees with a breeze which is perfect for traveling. After breakfast in the hotel we packed up our luggage, checked out and boarded our buses for Czestochowa. We headed to one of the most important religious sites in Poland. The Jasna Gora monastery in Czestochowa is the home of the early C14th icon of Our Lady which is know as the Black Madonna. This is one of the most famous images of Mary in the world and the icon continues to draw thousands of pilgrims each

Saturday, July 23rd

Saturday, July 23rd

What a busy and amazing day we have had! Breakfast at 8:30am was a welcome late start for us after yesterday. All pilgrims slept well and looked so much better than when they went to bed last night after being up for two days! After breakfast we boarded buses which took us to Holy Redeemer Church close to the Old Town of Warsaw. The whole group from the Archdiocese of Boston met us there for mass together. We were welcomed by one of the nine priests in the parish who told us some of the history of the beautiful church

Friday, July 22nd

Friday, July 22nd

We are happy to reply that everyone arrived safely and all is well. We flew overnight from Boston to Frankfurt and then Frankfurt to Warsaw. We were treated to a beautiful sunset over Newfoundland. After arriving at the hotel and checking in we explored the area which is in the center of Warsaw and found some food to keep us going during this long day. After lunch we boarded buses to take us to Niepokalanow about and hour outside the city of Warsaw. Niepokalanow is home to the sanctuary of St. Maximillian Kolbe who built his monastery there. We celebrated

Thursday, July 21st

Thursday, July 21st

We are off!  We had a beautiful Mass at St Paul’s concelebrated by Fr. Laughlin and Fr. MacKay. Thank you to all who came to pray with us and to wave us off. We are about to board the plane and are excited to be on our way. We are flying via Frankfurt to Warsaw and will check back in tomorrow.