Photographs from World Youth Day 2016
World Youth Day 2016 will take place in Krakow, Poland and is an exciting opportunity to share, explore and enjoy your faith.
The Diocese of Cloyne are currently planning to bring a group of young adults (18 – 35 yrs) to participate in this extraordinary event with Pope Francis.
If you wish to register your interest – let us know by email or call us
World Youth Day 2016 – A Priest Pilgrim
World Youth Day 2016 (WYD2016) took place in Krakow, Poland from 26th July to 31st July. Krakow – the city of divine mercy – is the spiritual home of both St John Paul II and St Faustina Kowalska. They were patrons for WYD2016 and key promoters of God’s mercy in the 20th and 21st centuries. Therefore, divine providence was truly at work because WYD2016 in Krakow took place during the Jubilee Year of Mercy with all the graces and indulgences which flow from that.
Over 40 young adult pilgrims representing the diocese of Cloyne and the diocese of Waterford & Lismore made the pilgrimage together and have come back with hearts full of joy and love for the Lord. Each of us received a YOUCAT (Youth Catechism) which helped us to learn more about our faith while on pilgrimage. Our group joined 3 million young adults from every continent on earth who made this pilgrimage of mercy and trust.
We were hosted by a parish in the city and they opened their homes to us in every possible way. We had the use of the parish Church for liturgies and a lot of Irish groups were based in that area which made for some great connections being made between young Irish Catholics from other parts of Ireland.
From the beginning, we made a conscious decision to be pilgrims and not tourists. Communal prayer and regular sharing about the Catholic faith with other members of the group became a daily experience. Sharing our positive experiences of faith is not the type of thing we can do very easily in Irish society so it was a very empowering experience to be able to share our love for the Lord so freely. As the week went by, strong ties of friendship built up within the group. What unites us is Christ and it was beautiful to witness the joy of the Gospel on the minds and hearts of so many brave and courageous young people.
On Tuesday evening the opening ceremony and Holy Mass took place in Blonia Park – a famous park in Karkow which has hosted papal events many times. The Archbishop of Karkow led the Ceremony. It was full of inspirational Church music and an atmosphere of reverence and anticipation.
On Wednesday we made the pilgrimage of mercy. This began at the St John Paul II Sanctuary – a shrine dedicated to the life and memory of the Polish Pope and built on the site of the quarry of the Solvay chemical company where Karol Wojtyla worked during the Nazi occupation from 1940-1944. It concluded at the Divine Mercy Sanctuary – the Convent of St Faustina. We prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet as we went along. On Wednesday evening, many Irish dioceses gathered together in the Parish Church to pray Evening Prayer and sing praise to God. It was led by Bishop Denis Nulty, the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. It was an evening of sharing and meeting new people who, like us, love their faith and want to be close to Jesus every day.
On Thursday morning, we had a Catechesis with the Archbishop of Chicago, Blaise Cupich on the theme of mercy. In the afternoon, we made our way to Blonia Parkfor the Welcoming Ceremony of the Holy Father.
On Friday morning, we had a Catechesis with the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin. He focused a lot on two questions – ‘Who is Jesus Christ?’ and ‘Who am I?’ In the afternoon, we made our way once more to Blonia Parkfor the celebration of the Way of the Cross. These were based on the corporeal and spiritual works of Mercy. It was a very meditative and moving experience.
On Saturday we began our day with Holy Mass in the Parish Church. Bishop Phonsie Cullinan led us and touched the hearts of the whole group with his words. He brought together many of the themes of the week and challenged us to be missionaries for Christ in our own land. We then set off on our walking pilgrimage to Campus Misericordiae – the camp site outside Krakow where the Vigil with the Holy Father and the Adoration Concert were held. Along the way, we took some shade under a tree as a group and did a catechesis on the theme of faith. We used our YOUCAT for this. When we arrived at the Campus, the sheer vastness of the site was extraordinary to the point of being overwhelming. It was a festival of faith for everyone who was blessed to have been present for it. We camped out overnight and on Sunday morning, from 7am onwards, preparations took place for the final Mass with the Holy Father. There are so many memorable images from this Mass which we will treasure forever. At the conclusion of the Mass, the Pope announced that World Youth Day 2019would take place in Panama. This brought great joy to everyone, especially those from the Americas.
On Monday we departed Krakow and made our way to Wroclaw for our flight home on Tuesday. We spent the day visiting Częstochowa – the Marian Shrine of Poland where the Black Madonna Icon is on display. This was a moment to offer some prayers of gratitude for the gift of faith and for our safe passage through the events of WYD2016. We had a catechesis on the bus from our YOUCAT.
As the days of our pilgrimage passed by, the numbers of people swelled to something in the region of 3 million young Catholic adults. We managed to walk over 120 kms around Karkow over the seven-day pilgrimage. As a priest, it was a great blessing to be among young people who are so eager to learn about Jesus Christ and the teachings of his Church. I felt so proud of every one of them. They were a credit to their families, their parishes and their country. It was also a blessing to listen to Pope Francis as he confirmed us in the faith. He urged young people to leave the comforts of what he called “sofa happiness” and, with Jesus’ help, put on “walking shoes” to make a mark on history. “You might say to me: Father, but I have my limits, I am a sinner, what can I do?,” the Pope said. “When the Lord calls us, he doesn’t worry about what we are, what we have been, or what we have done or not done. Quite the opposite. When he calls us, he is thinking about everything we have to give, all the love we are capable of spreading. His bets are on the future, on tomorrow. Jesus is pointing you to the future, and never to the museum. . . . So today, my friends, Jesus is inviting you, calling you, to leave your mark on life, to leave a mark on history, your own and that of many others as well.”
Jesus I trust in You
Fr Sean Corkery,
With our hearts ajar,
We travelled far,
We increased our faith,
The Lord filled our plate,
Great friends we made,
Music was played,
Songs were sung,
Our doubts we hung,
We bowed our head,
Prayers were said,
The Lord listened,
Our eyes glistened,
Papa Francisco neared,
The crowds cheered,
Flags we hanged,
Drums we banged,
What a sight to be seen,
3 million on the green,
The world was joined,
The cross we signed,
Peace was declared,
Our faith we aired,
We made many thanks,
Our camping gear clanks,
Many miles we walked,
100s of languages talked,
Jesus we praised,
Our hearts we raised,
What can we say,
Shows they did play,
We took over the square,
With colour we layer,
There’s many a man who couldn’t be with us,
For they travelled in Car, plane and bus,
They moved on Air, Rail and Sea,
It’s sad for those who couldn’t be,
We are joined in prayer,
Jesus loves their sayer,
Everyone may tumble,
Our prayers help them stand up and rumble,
It’s with honour we saw the Pope,
His words gave the youth hope,
Don’t sit on your couch,
Stand up proud and don’t slouch!!!
Seize the moment is what he told,
It’s with positivity that go forward!
Heaven is what we go toward,
This trip to Kraców must end,
Our blessings we send,
Our tools may be rosary beads and bible,
But our loyalty is tribal,
Our sights to what’s ahead,
Our memories of Poland won’t be put to bed,
It’s Panama we aim,
And Lord’s beauty we proclaim!
What a week,
It made us smile cheek to cheek,
See ye in a few years,
Good luck, Thanks and Cheers,
By Gerard Buckley,
Co. Cork Ireland