What a summer! The Archdiocese of Regina World Youth Day pilgrims shared a journey which has left each one of us forever changed! I would like to share with you one segment of our pilgrimage, each week for the next three weeks. To thank you for your support and prayers….To give you a glimpse into the impact of the universal church…..To fill you with hope for the future! The first week of our WYD experience was spent at “days in the diocese”. This important week leading up to WYD (World Youth Day) saw dioceses from all around Poland open up their parishes and homes to welcome pilgrims to the country, to give them an experience of culture and to prepare them for what will follow during the week of WYD when the young church of the world gathers together in with Pope Francis in Krakow. This “days in the diocese” (DID) experience varied greatly from diocese to diocese, depending on the resources, creativity and passions of the hosting community. We had the great privilege of being hosted in Łódź. (Pronounced “Wooj”)Łódź as our DID hosts, became home for a week to 5000 pilgrims representing many countries. In their preparations for this great undertaking, the diocese of Łódź invited the world wide Catholic community of “Chemin neuf” (http://www.chemin-neuf.org.uk/) to prepare the DID celebration for their diocese. And prepare, they did….!! The name of the festival that they put together was called “Paradise in the City”. The theme of the week was “#restored by love”. It was an incredible week! - We were hosted in homes by loving Polish families. - Welcomed by a parish community. - Blessed with the opportunity daily, to listen to amazing speakers from all over the world! - Able to celebrate mass and reconciliation each day. - Took part in powerful life-changing prayer experiences - We danced, sang, ran, played, cried, struggled, stretched, shared and grew!
We are forever grateful to the community of Łódź, to the people of the “Parish of the Transfiguration” and to the “Chemin Neuf” community for setting up this experience in such a way that we could not help but encounter God at every turn. In this year of mercy, we left this experience having been truly #restoredbylove!
For an overview of what the week looked like, please enjoy the short compilation video found below: