LETTER: Our trip to Poland for World Youth Day

A massive crowd of people attend World Youth Day in Karkow, Poland.

(PHOTO: A massive crowd of people attend World Youth Day in Karkow, Poland.)

The end of July this year saw with it the ending of what is called “World Youth Day”, a chance for Catholic youth from across the world to make a pilgrimage with Pope Francis. This year, millions of young people came from over 185 different countries and from six continents to meet in Krakow, Poland. I had the opportunity to attend with my sister Maire. We both live here in Stittsville.

I can tell you that these numbers were not inflated with accidental bystanders because these 1.6 to 2.5 million young people (depending on who you) had to make an 8km trek from the outskirts of Krakow to a remote field. You could not drive there unless you where handicapped, a dignitary, or the Pope. Security was far too tight for those kind of risks following what has recently happened in France.

Time and again, especially on university campuses, I hear the refrain that religion is dying and that youth are no longer foolish enough, in this enlightened 21st century, to believe in medieval superstition. I can tell you that Catholicism is alive and well among the young people of the world, and that these youths lead happy, fulfilling lives— there is something truly attractive at play here.

Maybe Catholicism has not yet lost its appeal, some 2,000 years after Jesus Christ walked the earth. I recommend you give it a try— the marketplace of beliefs is crowded these days, but millions of truly satisfied customers cannot be wrong.

Connor O’Hara
Stittsville

Connor O'Hara with his friend Siria amidst the throng of people.
Connor O’Hara with his friend Siria amidst the throng of people.
A fire truck in Krakow: "The fire crew there very generously drove us to a few locations when we needed to move the group! I am in the navy shirt in the centre, top row. My sister is holding the Canada flag on the left hand side of the image, in sunglasses."
A fire truck in Krakow: “The fire crew there very generously drove us to a few locations when we needed to move the group! I am in the navy shirt in the centre, top row. My sister is holding the Canada flag on the left hand side of the image, in sunglasses.”

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