In Krakow, Poland next week over a million people, mostly young adults, will be gathering to celebrate World Youth Day. World Youth Day began as a brainstorm of Pope St. John Paul II who desired to gather young people from around the world for catechesis, worship and support. The first World Youth Day was held in Rome, Italy in 1986 where the Holy Father told young people to “Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you.”–1Pt 3:15 There have been 12 International Celebrations and each one has been marked by mobs of Young People with “smiles and joy, singing and dancing, culture upon culture and nation upon nation, proudly holding their flags high (or wearing them), greeting one another in peace, trading their tokens, humbly realizing how small they are in a world of people, and strengthened to witness to so many who share their convictions.”
In the midst of so much bad news in the world and, specifically, in our country at this moment, pray that World Youth Day, Krakow, will be a moment of peace and a prayer answered by God. Follow the events in the newspaper, on line and on the Archdiocesan and our parish website. Let your friends and neighbors know what good things are happening in the world, rather than all the bad news. Pray that we who go, may encounter Christ and transform our world.