The 19th of July, a day 37 pilgrims and their families have had pencilled in the diary for over a year. All the preparations, fundraising and packing finally finished. With final goodbyes the pilgrimage began and the long journey to Poland by bus started! Despite leaving Cardiff on Tuesday 19th, we won’t reach Rozanystoku until the 20th. A two day coach journey with a stop over in Dortmund, Germany! A long journey but also an opportunity for all the pilgrims to meet, share stories and play games (copious amounts of cards and Pokemon Go!) The second day of travelling including group karaoke and a mass in a service station car park in Poland! The two day journey gave everyone the chance to mingle and discover who they will be spending the next two weeks with. It provided an excellent opportunity to reflect upon what exactly WYD is, what to expect and what everyone hopes to gain from the experience.
There were early starts on both days, however, despite the length of the journey and early starts we were all reminded of just how lucky and privileged we are when we drove through Calais and saw the refugee camps. With temporary shelters, wire fences and constant and heavy police presence it was clear to see the desperation and poverty of the people living there. It was a great reminder of how blessed we all are and that our work as Catholics is to be considerate, compassionate, non- judgemental and charitable. It reminded us we need to continue to help those in need and to continue to ask God not just to protect us during our travels but also to pray for the many refugees who make life threatening journeys everyday.
After our travels the sight of our beds in Bialostocka was a welcome one! The bus journey provided plenty of time for reflection about our travels, what we hope to gain from WYD and what our roles are as young Catholics. And now the excitement for the two weeks that lie ahead builds. After a well – earned rest tonight, Thursday brings the official start of our pilgrimage activities and all the exciting adventures we will encounter during these coming weeks.
Today began with a trip to the Mercy Centre and Catechesis at Tauron Arena Krakow, for all English speaking pilgrims. Here we heard a variety of talks from a number of speakers.
http://rcadc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/IMG_1082.jpg540960Kate Wardehttp://rcadc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Archdiocese-Logo.pngKate Warde2016-08-03 18:54:192016-08-03 21:45:02Day at the Mercy Centre