After nearly two years of planning, our diocesan pilgrimage to World Youth Day to Krakow Poland begins tomorrow! Over 200 young people will be traveling with me from every region of the Diocese to these special days of prayer and celebration, joined by 33 chaperones who will help guide and supervise our pilgrims during these days of travel, prayer and encounter with Pope Francis.
It will be a moment of tremendous grace both for those young people who will be able to attend in person and those who will join the events in Poland through social media. Every pilgrim will be invited to walk with the Lord Jesus during the days ahead. Each pilgrim will have the opportunity to come to know the Lord Jesus more deeply. My hope is that these days will give every pilgrim a deeper love of our Savior and a renewed commitment to become missionary disciples of God’s mercy in the world.
In fact, I can sum up my hopes for every pilgrim with three words that start with the letter “e”. I pray that all those attending World Youth Day will be encouraged in their faith, as they see that there are millions of committed Catholics who stand with them in mission. May the minds of our pilgrims be enlightened to the deep richness of our Catholic faith through their participation in catechetical sessions throughout the week. Finally, may everyone attending WYD enjoy their time together as they gather to give joyful praise to the Lord.
I entrust our pilgrimage to the protection and care of Our Blessed Mother. May she leads us to her Son Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer!
I look forward to sending you my next posting from Warsaw and WYD!