Welcome to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend's official World Youth Day travel blog! I'm so excited to be part of this experience.
Last evening, though I didn't get the official head count, over 100 pilgrims, both young and old (well, let's rephrase — young and adult...) gathered at Sacred Heart Parish, Warsaw, for a special Mass and final informational meeting on plans to travel to Madrid. Storms had caused a power outage and it was blazing hot in the church as Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades reminded us that hardship was part of any pilgrimage.
I'm pleased to report that the heat did not dampen the prayerfulness or the joy of this amazing group in any way. (Miraculously the power kicked in just as Bishop was giving his homily. Nothing like divine intervention!)
This group of pilgrims seems very cohesive and share palpable enthusiasm as they anxiously anticipate the trip to France and Spain. They have been preparing financially and spiritually for close to a year.
It was a pleasure to break into small groups after we shared pizza to get to know some of the youth of the diocese a little better. Many I spoke with said they are excited about meeting so many Catholics from across the globe — and of course, seeing the Holy Father!
So as the count down to Aug. 10 continues, we will prepare physically, mentally and spiritually for what we hope will be a life changing event. We humbly ask for prayers for safe travel and spiritual renewal. Can't wait to see what these pilgrims bring back to the diocese to share! More later as we decide what to pack and what to pray!