think I had a lot of unanswered questions before my trip to World Youth Day. But God answered questions I didn’t even know I had. 

“Put service and mission first and you will see that everything else will follow.” - Pope Francis, January 27, Panamá WYD Volunteer Gathering

VATICAN – The joyous harmony of people coming together from so many different nations for World Youth Day stands in sharp contrast to today's "sad" situation of confrontational nationalist feelings, Pope Francis said.
Packing up after a pilgrimage, you sort through the souvenirs you’ll bring home. They are reminders of friends made, marvels witnessed and lessons discovered along the way.

PANAMA CITY — I stood on a stage, looking out over a sea of young pilgrims. I had seen such crowds before, but never with such profound diversity. Flags representing countries from all over the world waved under the hot Panama sun. Despite the heat, there was a great sense of excitement and great expectation.

PANAMA CITY – Just before leaving the physical and human warmth of Panama Jan. 27, Pope Francis stopped to thank the thousands of official volunteers, young and old, gathered at the capital city's Rommel Fernandez Stadium to tell them that they had just participated in an event similar to one that took place early in Christianity.

World Youth Day pilgrims can tell you many stories about the adventures we all had at Cinta Costera these last few days but none are more harrowing than my adventure to find a bathroom.

PANAMA CITY – Friday was one of the best days so far.

PANAMA CITY – Unexpected challenges are part of the job description when you’re working as a volunteer at World Youth Day Panama, but what Ana Sanchez didn’t expect was that it could also be dangerous. 

PANAMA CITY – Thousands of World Youth Day pilgrims stopped by the Jama Mosque Jan. 24 en route to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis.