Society of Mary USA, Marist Ministries Society of Mary, Marists in the USA, Roman Catholic Priests, Brothers, and Laity

Marist Students Attend World Youth Day
(from The Society of Mary e-Bulletin • Volume 7/Issue 3: March 5, 2019)

Four students and two adults from Marist School joined a contingent from the Archdiocese of Atlanta and hundreds of thousands of youth from around the world to participate in the 2019 World Youth Day (WYD) in Panama City, Panama.

World Youth Day occurs every three years in a different country and includes an encounter with Pope Francis as well as many other religious events over several days. Members of the Marist group met people from across the United States, Poland, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Germany, Australia, Philippines, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua and many other countries.

Marist Students Attend World Youth Day
International friends at opening Mass

During the opening Mass, the Marist group met with students from Colegio de Marista, a Marist Brothers school in Brazil. The following morning, thousands of English-speaking attendees celebrated Mass at a local school with a bishop from Australia. Other highlights of the trip for the Marist group included standing only 15 feet away while Pope Francis drove by in the Popemobile, a beautiful sunset while praying the rosary along the Panama Canal, visiting a sloth sanctuary, having dinner with Bishop Konzen, SM and experiencing Mass with over 500,000 people from all over the world.

Participants in WYD are called pilgrims because the journey they take is a challenging yet rewarding experience, both spiritually and physically. For example, the journey to the closing Mass began on Saturday morning with a five-mile walk to the vast open field where the Mass would be celebrated on Sunday morning. The pilgrims slept on the ground and were awoken by vibrant music leading up to the 8 a.m. Mass with Pope Francis, the joyful conclusion of WYD. The next World Youth Day will be in Lisbon, Portugal in 2022.

Marist Students Attend World Youth Day
Pilgrims from Marist School and Holy Spirit Preparatory School
with Bishop Konzen, SM in Panama

World Youth Day was a great experience for the students who joined in the global celebration of the Catholic faith. Senior Hadley Adair and junior DC Coleman share their experiences:

"World Youth Day was such a wonderful testament to the universality of our faith. To be able to meet people from all over the world of different cultures and who speak different languages, yet still worship the same God together, was beautiful." Hadley Adair

"It was a great experience that allowed me to grow spiritually with God,
but also better my relationships with my friends and family."

DC Coleman