World Youth Day Krakow 2016

Living Youth took a wonderful group of 54 young people and leaders to World Youth Day this summer in Krakow. The group began their pilgrimage in the Czech Republic for their ‘Days in the Diocese’. They spent four amazing days in the beautiful Prague exploring, site-seeing, meeting other WYD groups from across the world, praying, adoring, singing, dancing, bonding, etc. The Living Youth group got to explore some of Prague’s most famous landmarks such as; Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral,  St. George’s Basilica, Old Town Square, the Astronomical Clock, St. Nicholas’ Church, Charles Bridge, the Holy Child of Prague and St. Peter & Paul’s Church.

The group journeyed to Krakow from Prague on coach. The bus took around 6 hours but that didn’t get in the way of the fun and excitement. Upon arrival in Krakow, the group unloaded their luggage in the hostel and ventured out for some food and sightseeing! There were thousands of young people, from all over the world, gathered in the famous Krakow Square. The atmosphere was simply electric! The Living Youth group had no hesitation to get involved in the singing and craic and it is safe to say it was an amazing start to the WYD experience. On the second day the LY gang went to visit the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy which contains the remains of Saint Faustina. The modern 20th century church is one of the biggest in Krakow! Later that evening, they got to visit Auschwitz which was an emotional and prayerful experience. The following day the team got to visit Czestochowa and the famous ‘Black Madonna’ painting. What an amazing experience getting to celebrate Mass here! That evening, the Living Youth team visited the famous Salt Mines. The main Chapel within the Salt Mines is simply beautiful as everything is carved out of salt. The group sang to everyone present and it was truly magical. The group walked to Blonia Park on the Thursday for Pope Francis’ arrival and address. The Living Youth team were fairly close to the main stage and it was wonderful being in the presence of the Pope and millions of other young people. On the Friday the group journeyed through the Stations of the Cross with Fr. Andrew and confessions were held that night, outside. On Saturday, the Living Youth team began the pilgrimage to the Vigil Site “Campus Misericordiae”. That night, millions of pilgrims from all over the world, joined us in the ‘Field of Mercy’ for a Saturday night Vigil with the Pope. This was an unforgettable experience! Everyone camped out that night and got up in the morning to celebrate Mass with Pope Francis. This marked the end of the World Youth Day experience! The sun shined the whole time and it really was something special to be a part of. The millions of pilgrims made their 5 hour journey back to Krakow that day and it is fair to say the fun and excitement continued the whole way home!

What an amazing experience to be a part of! Faith was instilled and friendships were formed for life! We can’t wait until Panama!

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WYD 2016 PIC 2