We are now just a few days away from the start of WYD from the 1st to the 6th of August… Precious time to go over the various stages of the journey that will take us to Lisbon, to give the final notices on the weight of hand luggage that can be brought on board… To find out together which activities will most interest us among the many proposals in the City of Joy, to imagine how we can move around the city in search of the events of the Youth Festival… Precious time, full of tension, imagination, uncertainty, desire, and feelings.
We asked our young people three questions about how they were living these hours of immediate preparation for WYD, and we share some of their answers, collected without pretending to build with them thematic paths, to make an analysis or to propose a synthesis. Collected as you will find them. With their depth, roughness, and sincerity, in the hope that they may help us to get to know young people more, to love them more, and to get closer and closer to their hearts.
1) What is my impression of this WYD 2023?
It gave me a very positive impression, it seems very well organized, with lots of things to do and ample opportunities to discover other Christian realities in the world. I think it will be an unforgettable experience for all of us, one that will unite and mark us. I am very positive, I think it can be an opportunity to get to know diverse cultures, have new experiences and socialize with new people who all gathered like us under the same Christian faith. This WYD seems very well organized, and I think it will be a very formative experience, especially on a spiritual level. It was really a surprise for me to learn about this WYD 😍😍; I am sure, it will be a good experience. I think that going to WYD is an important experience to live and share, which can make young kids, who often maybe feel “different” from their peers simply because they attend a parish, feel like they are part of something bigger. I believe it is an experience far removed from our daily lives that can help us grow on many fronts. I believe that this WYD will enrich my personality. A journey that will allow me to grow in life and faith, alongside people I care about very much. I think it is a beautiful and fun initiative, definitely a great opportunity to get to know and be together with many new people.
2) What are my expectations?
I expect very full and happy days of discovery but also religious rediscovery and a great celebration. I expect to rediscover some sides of my personality and find stability as a group; to make new acquaintances, visit new places and have fun. I expect to get to know a beautiful city with works and architecture I have never seen before and especially to meet my peers who are also travelling for the same purpose as us. Even just seeing the Pope will be a great thrill. I expect a mix of fun and travel in discovering myself and my relationship with God. I expect a good journey together with Jesus, who always guides us. It will be tiring but interesting days. From this trip, I expect to meet new people and experience something different from the ordinary. For sure it will be very tiring but at the same time, I think we will have some wonderful moments of joy and lightheartedness. I expect to have a stimulating experience that will help enrich my faith journey and my relationships with others. I admit that expectations for the trip itself are somewhat low, as I do not like to camp and sleep in uncomfortable places, but one can always adapt. I expect that it will be a long journey, at times made up of moments of discouragement and fatigue, but at the same time moments of joy that I hope to remember and take with me.
3) What feelings am I experiencing?
I am very excited because I am sure it will be a wonderful experience. I cannot wait to go, and I feel lucky. I am excited about the thought of this trip because I will experience things I have never done, such as sleeping outdoors and being close to peers who are also travelling to see the Pope and doing many group activities. Therefore, I feel excitement and joy. I am quite calm yet at the same time excited about what I will be able to experience. I am super excited! I feel emotions of joy and happiness. Every now and then my thoughts go about the departure… Personally, I think I have not yet fully realized that we are less than a week away from this trip, definitely, I am very curious to find out what awaits us from the interminable journey, of sleeping all camped out in a school/gym, up to spending a whole night outdoors for the vigil. At the moment I am quite calm, convinced that everything will be fine, and I will have a good time. I am experiencing happiness, anticipation, and a little anxiety as we will experience WYD slowly, finding out day by day what it will be like.
Author: RYVM of the Province of Rome