Pope John Paul II envisioned World Youth Day (WYD) as a gathering of young Catholics from around the world to celebrate their faith and as a means for the church to speak and listen to them. Despite the extensive coverage about WYDs, nothing compares to a personal experience of joining with the hundreds of thousands of young Catholics when they gather with the pope to encounter Christ and his church.
Eight Singaporean seminarians were blessed with such an experience at WYD08 in Sydney – seven with the Catholic Students’ Society of the National University of Singapore contingent led by Father Valerian Cheong, and one with the Catholic Archdiocesan Youth Centre contingent led by Father Brian D’Souza.
This was the first time that local seminarians had accompanied our young people to World Youth Day celebrations. The eight seminarians also participated in a special gathering of seminarians and young novices from around the world with the Holy Father during the Mass for the dedication of the altar in St. Mary’s Cathedral.
This pilgrimage has been an invaluable experience in the vocational journey of the seminarians; walking hand in hand with young people and with the Holy Father they encountered Christ in a powerful way. Here, the seminarians reflect on their experience.