“I hope the pilgrim’s eyes will be opened to the beautiful richness and the universality of our faith.”
This is just one of the hopes of Aron Faure, Youth Coordinator of Bunbury Diocese as he leads nine young people to World Youth Day (WYD) on a pilgrimage towards the City of Mercy.
The youth delegates from Mandurah, Albany and Dawesville Parishes have been planning for this pilgrimage since January 2015, getting together regularly to prepare spiritually and physically for their journey to Krakow, Poland.
Accompanying the group also is Diocesan Youth Chaplain, Father Christian Saminal.
He said, “The group has built a strong relationship and camaraderie through formation sessions and fellowship leading up to their departure.”
The Bunbury Diocese group partnered with the group led by Catholic Youth Ministry Perth which departed on the 19 July, creating a vibrant and dynamic group of 45 that represents well the diversity of young Catholics in Western Australia.
For many of the individuals it is their first time attending an international World Youth Day. Their excitement in meeting like minded young Catholics is a definite attribute of attending such an event.
Megan Lynch, 17, the youngest of the group said, “I am excited to meet new people and learn about their culture and where they’re from.”
For another pilgrim it’s about an exploration of faith but most importantly developing a deeper relationship with God.
“During this pilgrimage, I want to discover myself further and deeper. I want to find my true potential in regards to my faith,”said Nicole Soriano from Mandurah Parish.
“I also want to meet the Pope and have a selfie with him!” she added.
World Youth Day boasts one of the biggest gathering of young people from over 100 countries. Last WYD which was in 2013, saw Rio de Janeiro Brazil host an estimated 2.5 million Catholics at Copacabana Beach.
In 2016, the City of Krakow is no different as they prepare to welcome 2 million plus young people from around the world to meet with Pope Francis and be united in prayer on the 31 of July for the final Mass.
Father Christian said, “World Youth Day is about the whole world praying together in unity regardless of race or colour. Walking hand in hand to see and appreciate the mercy of God.”
The Bunbury Diocese group with the Western Australian delegates will be connected in prayer and celebration with the thousands of young people and bear witness to the love and mercy of God in Krakow, Poland for the next 2 weeks.
The theme of this year’s WYD is ‘Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.’
Written by Vincent Haber