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Nine parishioners from St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Lawrenceburg attended World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain on Aug. 21.
World Youth Day is one of the largest youth gatherings in the world with nearly 1.5 million pilgrims from 193 countries in Madrid on Aug. 21. It was founded by Pope John Paul II and has been carried on every two years by the current pope, Pope Benedict XVI.
Youth are invited to a carefully selected city that could be anywhere across the globe.
During the week leading up to World Youth Day, there is touring of the host country; teaching and daily mass, and encounters with the Pope.
The pastor, Father Chris Clay, brought with him Amanda and Ginny Sweeney, Clare Lutz, Charlotte Callen, Brittney Carbajal, Leoncio and Gricel Fajardo, and Tim White. Bishop Ronald Gainer of Lexington was also one of the “pilgrims” among the 24 from the Diocese of Lexington.
Events were held throughout the week, such as tours of Granada and fellowship with the people of Spain. Pope Benedict XVI arrived and drove through the inner city greeting the crowds that choked the streets.
The group saw him three times throughout the week. Bishop Gainer described him: “The two things that impress me the most are his humility and prayerfulness—it just resonates from his person.”
Fr. Chris commented that celebrating Mass with the pope, “was a moment of profound unity amid the universality of the Church.”
Clare Lutz shared, “I think what made the trip so memorable was being surrounded by so many other young Catholics who were on fire for their faith.”