From the #WYD2016 Diary of Ms. Jessica Mariel dela Peña of the Salesian Youth Movement–Philippines.
We started the day by walking to the Vocation Fair not far from the Parish we are staying at. It was an exhibit where young people could talk to members of different religious congregations and organizations.
The Salesians of Don Bosco were present as well. There were hundreds of booths and so much to learn, that the day was not enough to visit each exhibition. I learned a lot from the people I talked to. Each booth had its own gimmick–from giving away trinkets and souvenirs, nuns joyfully singing and dancing with the young, to priests and seminarians praying for me right there and then, it was an experience that allowed me to see how the love of God moves people, how God’s mercy transforms people. The stories of the people I talked to during the Vocation Fair were all inspiring. There are a lot of great congregations, movements, and organizations that are working to let the people know of how great life with God is.
At around 3 in the afternoon, we started moving to the Blonia Park where the opening Mass will be celebrated. The sky looked gloomy but that did not dampen the spirit of the young people. Even as it began to rain, the WYD pilgrims walked with joy, singing and dancing as they travel to the celebration site.
The ground was wet and it was not the most comfortable situation but no rain could stop us from celebrating God’s love and mercy.
The Cardinal of Krakow challenged us to extend the WYD experience to the young people by sharing the flames of our faith. He challenged the young people to carry God’s news to the world: That the young shares the mission to share the Gospel to those who do not have access to it.
He also reminded us that with God, we can do all things. Nothing will separate us from the love and mercy of God.