World Youth Day 2019 (WYD) brought a flood of varying emotions for pilgrims fortunate enough to attend. WYD took place in Panama (January 22–27) with over 50 persons representing the Archdiocese of Port of Spain.
From the pains of either getting crushed from the massive crowds (over 600,000 attended) to the joy of being catechised by Papa Francisco in the flesh, attending WYD was worth every moment for the T&T contingent.
Some of these pilgrims met at Archbishop’s House on February 22 for a post-mortem of their experience.
After listening to the “joys and pains” shared, Archbishop Jason Gordon reminded them it was a “great privilege” to be a WYD pilgrim.
“It is a privilege to experience what you have; to meet so many young Catholics from all over the world whose faith is your faith and to meet the Holy Father,” he said.
Today, there is much negative dialogue surrounding young people and the Archbishop emphasised the “preciousness” of experiencing “world Catholicism” with other young people.
“An experience like that does something to your spirit and soul. It reminds you that are not part of something small—it is huge!”
Archbishop Jason also urged those present to remember the ‘bligh’ they were given. “Now that you are back home you can’t pay back what has been given to you so I ask you to pay it forward. Pay it forward to future WYD pilgrims by sharing with persons in your parish who weren’t as privileged to attend and by deepening your commitment to Christ,”
The Episcopal Delegate for Youth, Taresa Best was also present at the meeting. For future WYD pilgrimages, both she and the Archdiocese will look at ways to improve the preparation and experience for attendees.