“I’ve just arrived back home after being in Europe for a three week pilgrimage, one of them including World Youth Day. Something amazing I thought I’d share with you.
Often when I think of the Catholic Church I think of myself. I think about my home parish, and that alone. Being at World Youth Day was such an unbelievable experience. I had never really thought about how big the Catholic Church really is. Walking around Europe the weeks before the… event, I was getting excited. Seeing other pilgrims with their country flags… It was becoming real for me.
However, as World Youth Day started, it really hit me. I was meeting people from all around the world. Countries I’ve never even heard of were there, happy to show their Catholic Pride. This made me realize how truly lucky I am to be part of such an amazing thing. For the first time, I looked at being Catholic from not only within my community and hometown, but as a world wide identification. To see everyone from every Continent in the world made me realize how truly unified and connected we are to one another, despite the distance and language barriers there may be. I was moved and amazed by this. Seeing all the people, especially the priests, nuns, and seminarians by the thousands… It gave me such a sense of pride, and peace.
However, this also hit me about how lucky I am. I have the right to choose to freely practice the religion that is a part of me, in the open- without the fear of someone trying to harm me in sake of it. It really put into perspective all the opportunities we have to learn more about our faith, yet we never seem to take advantage of it. The trip has really shown me what I should be putting first, and what I shouldn’t be as focused on.”
-This testimony was written by A Wayne State Newman Catholic Center Student who was blessed to go to World Youth Day-