WYD in Kraków 2016 was a real changing point in my life. I had an 8 month old baby at home, but my husband supported me and encouraged me to go as I had made the decision prior to knowing that I was expecting. I’d always went to Mass and was in the local choir since I was four, but being at WYD with that festive atmosphere with so many other young catholics allowed me to properly celebrate my faith for the first time ever! The craic was unreal! We packed on to public transport and would just burst out into song (which I don’t think the locals always appreciated so sorry for that). We were high fiving random people in the street including priests, nuns, and other religious. We danced with strangers from loads of different countries in the food court. There was just such joy to be seen in every face. When Pope Francis arrived to Blonia Park, the place erupted! At the Saturday vigil, you could have heard a pin drop as 2 million people, in a field with Pope Francis, took part in eucharistic adoration. It was a beautiful sight. On the long walk back to Kraków after Sunday mass there were two, what can only be described as, Armageddon like thunderstorms which to me was God telling us “You need to go home and make noise about what you have witnessed here.” I went home brimming with the Holy Spirit, to this day I still tell anyone that will listen about how amazing it all was and have changed for the better becoming even more involved in my parish and diocese as a youth leader. I can’t stress enough how important it is for every young person to experience WYD at least once. It will change your life, only for the better. God is good all the time, alleluia!
Aileen Kelly, Ireland