MY EXPERIENCE ABOUT WYD POLAND 2016
“Journey in Faith”
Mam na imie Thomas Ta’amale from “OUR LADY OF THE ASSUMPTION” Parish in Onehunga (Auckland, NZ). I am 14 years of age and also the youngest of the Pilgrims that took part in WYD Poland, and I would like to share with you all, my thoughts, and also my experience in being part of this awesome gathering for all Catholic youth’s from around the world.
There’s so much to share, but words can’t describe the beauty, and what it was like for me to actually be at WYD for the first time, the vibe and atmosphere felt so powerful, and there were so much energy and love for Jesus, being there to witness and to journey with our Holy Father and millions of other youth members, was like a miracle. For me, it felt like Jesus was present in person.
Sanctuary experience was like Heaven, beautiful and elegant. I can never forget this Pilgrimage and I feel so blessed, thank you Jesus. This event truly showed the emotions that was brought out in all of us who attended WYD. It was an amazing experience listening to the Pope’s homilies and talks, listening to worship songs, and to see young people praying for each other, it was such a privilege to be there, and what a witness to the world it was, to see so many young people so into their faith.
The challenging part for me was the Pilgrim walk, as I have never walked this far in my whole life, let alone the heat, it was very hot, we started the Pilgrim walk from 9:30am and we didn’t get to Campus Misericordiae until 4pm. My faith, my willingness, my trust and my love for Jesus kept me going without any moaning or complaining, because this Pilgrim walk was nothing compared to the suffering that Jesus went through to save us all.
Sleeping under the stars was a whole different feeling and experience, because this night was the most personal moment of the main events during WYD. It was a passionate time of Adoration and encounter with Jesus, reminding us of the “ROAD TO JESUS” which was the theme behind the vigil mass.
At the beginning of the Vigil, there were testimonies from other pilgrims, the one that really touched me, was a young Syrian woman, who shared the horrors her people and country are experiencing, it saddened me, but it has awaken me also, into realising of how strong their Faith is, knowing that their families were in danger but still left them behind in the hands of Jesus, so they can fulfill their journey of faith in the mercy of God.
Pope Francis addressed her pain in his speech saying, “Once and for all, may we realize that nothing justifies shedding the blood of a brother or sister; and that nothing is more precious than the person next to us.”
Pope’s homilies and talks really spoke to all of us regardless of age, as he challenged us young people not to “vegetate” in a comfortable life, but reminded us of our call “to leave a mark.”Jesus is inviting us, calling us, to leave our mark on life, to leave a mark on history, our own and that of many others as well,”
“God comes to break open everything that keeps you closed in.The fact is, unless we offer the best of ourselves, the world will never be different. We should also experience multiculturalism, not as a threat but an opportunity.
For me, I have never been so proud to call myself a Catholic christian, after seeing millions of young people come together to share their love for Jesus.
This pilgrimage was truly a once in a lifetime event, that I will hold in my heart forever. I was just amazed to see people from all parts of the world come together, united in one Catholic Faith, the Vigil Mass was a powerful example of this, when Pope asked us to be hands and feet of God, and I hope and pray for many vocations, to spring from this beautiful event.
I’ll leave you all with this beautiful question to meditate on, as we journey on, asking God to help, guide and lead our path towards him.
What answer will you give with your hands and feet, to the Lord, who is the way, the truth and the life?
I would like to take this opportunity to express my greatest thanks to our Parish Priest Father Andrew Atonio, this journey of a lifetime happened because of his faith, encouragement, motivation and prayers. I feel so blessed to have him in our Parish and as a Spiritual Father to all our youths. A massive thank you also to our parishioners, families, especially our parents for their awesome support. I love you all and God Bless!!!!
My sincere thanks also to Parish Priest Father Wieslaw Pawlowski SChr for inviting us to share our experience of WYD Poland with his Parish Community of St Bernadette’s in Mt Wellington (Auckland, NZ), it was a pleasure for me to be there.
My words aren’t enough to express my gratitude and how blessed I feel to have met you all, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, please keep our Onehunga Youth in your prayers. Niech Bóg Was błogosławi.