World Youth Day - My Family Travels

World Youth Day is when teens from all over the world come together to have Mass with the Pope. I attended World Youth Day in 2008 in Sydney, Australia with my Parish Teen Group. There were 223,000 registered pilgrims from 170 nations, making it the largest gathering in Australia.  This amazing event that opened my eyes to my faith lasted from July 15 to July20 2008.  

 My trip to Australia was no vacation; it was a Pilgrimage. Upon walking to our every destination, attending daily Mass, and consuming a limited diet was not something I was unaccustomed to, but all these small sacrifices helped me to realize how much we take little things for granted.

 Meeting kids from all over the world was an amazing experience. Communicating with young pilgrims from other countries taught me how much their languages and lifestyles varied from mine. Even though it seemed like everyone was completely different from our group, we were all there for the same reason, and that’s what made it so inspirational.

The part of my trip that was most inspirational was the night everyone slept under the stars, the eve before the Mass with the Holy Father. Youths from all over the world had their own candles lit to symbolize their faith. After looking around and seeing all the countries represented by their flags waving in the cool night air, my faith grew, and I realized one’s nationalities doesn’t matter; God is truly within all persons.

 Overall, this trip to World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, 2008 was a life- changing experience. The awesome opportunity to see the Pope and to attend Mass with people from all over the world was astounding. It truly was an unforgettable experience that made me stronger in hope, faith and spiritually that I will never forget.



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