WYD2016 by Sebastián Denis and Maria Fischer •
“Very tired, very impressed.” This is how the Schoenstatt Boys Youth of Paraguay introduced themselves on their return journey from the World Youth Day in Krakow.
For many of them, it was their first WYD, and it had a powerful impact on them when they say the large number of youth, the flags, testimonials, songs, joy in faith, shared with thousands of youth from every country. Some have been once, twice, or three times. It is always incredible.
And it seems that there is always rain and storms, sun and blistering heat, and lots of waiting after leaving the final Mass. Likewise this time around, during the vigil and the final Mass. Challenging, tiring, but it is also part of the WYD magic.
To evaluate this amazing experience, Sebastián Denis asked the young people to each mention Pope Francis’ phrases that touched them most. These are not always a word for word quotation, but we want to let the young people note them, because this is what resonates most in their hearts.
Which phrases touched me most during the Vigil?
- Fraternity, communion, brotherhood and family.
- The best we can do (after listening to the testimonials) is to pray for them and identify ourselves with them. Pray for each of the youth from Syria.
- Fear, as young people, paralysis that comes from confusing happiness with a sofa. A sofa for each kind of pain.
- Jesus is the Lord of risk. To follow Jesus you need to be courageous and exchange the sofa for a pair of good shoes.
- This path is for the chosen, those who are prepared to share their lives with others.
- God wants something from you, he comes to tear down our obstacles, and invites you to dream.
- He wants you to see that if you don’t give the best of yourself, the world will not be different: it’s a dare, a challenge!
- We don’t need sofa-youth. These times only accept headline youth!
- Life is beautiful every time you want to live it by leaving footprints, deciding my own future.
- He wants your hands and your feet to build the world, what is your response?
- Jesus takes you over the horizon, never to the museum!
- For this, today he calls them to leave their footprints; to leave a mark and make your own history!
Which phrases touched me most during the Mass?
- The obstacles that Zaccheus passed through.
- Shame paralyses. You don’t go out freely; you go out under duress. You are played.
- Play the game! Life is not made to be kept in a box; to the life he gives us, we can’t respond with a small message!
- Don’t be afraid to wholeheartedly decide ‘Yes.’
- Don’t put your heart under anesthetic!
- Don’t accept success at any price!
- Jesus’ gaze goes further.
- Don’t look at the make-up of the soul!
- Give your lives because He expects this from you.
- Open the door to your hearts. The WYD starts today and continues tomorrow at home. This is where Jesus wants to hear you.
- Take the golden thread of prayer. May the Gospel by your guide through the ways of life.
- Jesus speaks to everyone by their name.
A friend from Spain and Mass in the Vienna Cathedral
The Paraguayan group returned home via Vienna, the Austrian capital. This is where Sebastián met with David de Ourense, a Spanish friend he met at World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, and now does pastoral youth work in the Spanish Bishops’ Conference. It is thanks to him that the Boys’ Youth in Paraguay were invited to Mass with the Spanish youth in the Vienna Cathedral, celebrated by the Spanish bishops. An unexpected gift after so many days on pilgrimage.
Thank you very much, youth of Paraguay, for making us feel a part of this WYD in such a special way!