Call to arms

If you did not feel empowered by Pope Francis' homily during the welcoming ceremonies at World Youth Day, then you weren't really listening. The Holy Father game a passioned speech about the hope that we carry for the Church as young people. 

  • August 10, 2016

Jesus calls us here to meet him

There’s so much I could say about World Youth Day: I could probably write a short book about my experiences. There are so many themes I could pull from it, so many lessons I could draw out. But as I reflected, a hymn came to mind that tied together so many different threads it wouldn’t let go: “Jesus calls us here to meet him.”

  • August 4, 2016

Jesus I trust you

Two weeks ago I left my home in Mission, BC, about an hour outside of Vancouver, and embarked on my pilgrimage to Kraków, Poland. There I would meet with two million other Catholics, Pope Francis and Christ Himself in the Eucharist. The prospect of seeing old friends at Kraków Airport and spending the next two weeks with them in a foreign country was enough to get me excited and yet there was something else that was calling me there. I was going to Poland, and I would spend two weeks in hard core prayer mode with the big guy asking Him all the big questions I needed answers to. Yes, I was finally going to get it all figured out. But no. That didn’t happen. Not even close.

  • August 3, 2016

Witnessing Poland’s Transformation for Krakow 2016

“SDM Krakow 2016” flags flying from every street lamp, banners with Pope Francis’ picture above the doors of numerous churches, and groups of youth from all over the world singing hymns from every corner of Poland- this is just a small portion of the incredible transformation I had the pleasure of witnessing over my past month here.

  • August 2, 2016

Into the wilderness of mercy

There is something about welcoming and initiation that connects so much to this idea of mercy. Baptism is first, of course, an introduction and welcoming of a new person into the Catholic community, but it also results in the automatic washing away of all sins. This cleansing, this figurative flood of forgiveness, just given automatically without need for confession or admission of sin or anything, is such a monumental act of mercy. As a baptized-as-an-adult Catholic, it is this act of mercy that’s recently begun to stick out to me, and it’s what’s been on my mind as I travel on this pilgrimage with my group.

  • July 29, 2016

Keeping up our pursuit of God

Proudly representing our beautiful nation of Canada, my friend and I had the opportunity to perform a hip-hop routine called Project Pursuit at World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland. Inspired by Philippians 3:12-14, we sought to portray the journey that every Christian goes through in their relationship with God: messy beginnings, spiritual highs and lows and growth in our love for God as we become more receptive to His love for us.

  • July 28, 2016

Wow! What an experience!

As a teenager from a small town in a small province, the whole concept of World Youth Day is exciting. I get to travel to a different country, I don't have to work for a few weeks, I'll meet new people, the list goes on.

  • July 26, 2016

Greetings from Kraków!

Cześć! Greetings from Kraków! My name is Vanessa, and I am one of the 40-odd pilgrims traveling with Jesuits Canada to World Youth Day 2016. It is not my first World Youth Day experience, but it has certainly been a very unique one so far. The spirituality of the Jesuits has been one that has resonated with me since I first learned about Ignatian contemplation, and I already had several friends traveling in the Jesuits Canada delegation, so it felt like a good fit. And thus far, I can only say that our group, made up of young adults from all over Canada, has been pretty awesome.

  • July 26, 2016

I’m ready for WYD!

Canada is a place with a deep multicultural heritage. In the same way that Canada is important to those who live there, one’s ancestral home country is just as or more important. This year, my ancestral homeland, Poland, is hosting World Youth Day. As someone very connected to their heritage and religion, you can imagine why World Youth Day 2016 is so important to me.

  • July 25, 2016

We’re just getting started

World Youth Day is tomorrow! Despite all the fun and awe-inspiring things that I’ve been fortunate to experience, this is why I am here. It’s not for The Catholic Register. It’s not for the chance to go to Europe on vacation. It’s for the chance to participate in the global Church.

  • July 25, 2016