Sunday, July 31, 2016


This weekend was the peak of the World Youth Day week, with the evening prayer vigil with the Pope at Campus Misericordiae, the camp overnight and the final Mass the next morning.

We started off Saturday with the Vancouver pilgrims gathering at St. Anne's Church.

After the Mass, our group did some sightseeing at Wawel Cathedral and viewed a L'arche artwork exhibition.  We had lunch at Zabłocie 13 before we split up as eight of us would go to the vigil and four would stay back in the city.

The eight of us embarked on the pilgrimage to Campus Misericordaie, the vigil site.  We were able to take the tram to the last stop, where we then proceeded to walk the rest of the 6km to the site.

We passed the first food station where we could pick up a bag full of food—about 4 meals worth.  However, we decided to pick it up at a later station.  It turned out this was a bad decision as when we arrived at the second and final food package pickup site, they ran out of food packages.

Having brought some snacks and water, we decided we could forego the food package at that time.  There were rumours that more food packages would be available later.  We proceeded onwards.

As we arrived at our section at around 6pm, there were signs saying that the section was closed.  But we decided to try to get into our section anyway.  Turns out there was no security, only a couple guards monitoring the entrance to our section.  There was already a group forming wanting to get into the section, and luckily the guard let us through after a few minutes (without checking our IDs or tickets).

We were able to find ourselves a small spot.

At around 8:30pm, four of us went back out to find food packages.  We ended up walking about 6km back to the first food station.  We were able to get our food packages, and made the hike back and ended up returning more than two hours after we left.  We were happy to be reunited as a group, and to be able to eat food!

The packs consisted of:

  • canned potato salad with chicken
  • canned potato salad (vegetarian)
  • canned fish
  • sausages
  • Oshee energy drink
  • an apple-mint juice
  • croissant with chocolate filling
  • bread
  • apple
  • crackers
  • nutella and jam packs
  • granola bars

In addition, since a few of our pilgrims didn't attend the vigil, we got three extra bags of food just in case.

The night was quite lively, with people singing and drumming, trading gifts.  The atmosphere ended up dying down by about 3am.

The sun rose the next morning at around 5am; our natural alarm clock.

We had breakfast and then Thomas led us in morning prayer.  We then participated in the Final Mass with the Pope.  At the end of the Mass, the Pope announced that the next World Youth Day would be held in Panama!

We stuck around Campus Misericordiae for a little bit, to eat lunch and to clean up our stuff.  It turns out that we didn't really need all three extra bags of food, and we quite unfortunately ended up disposing of a lot of uneaten food.

At about 1:15pm we started on our way out.  The walk out was much more challenging than our walk in.  We were met with thunderstorms three times.  Trams were not running along our route.  We also came as close as we ever wanted to be to lightning (it came down within tens of metres of where we were walking).  It was difficult to find shelter on the industrial streets we were walking along, so we pressed on to get to the Old Town as quickly as we could.  We finally arrived at Market Square around four hours later and were able to make contact with the rest of our group back at the hotel.

We decided on a quick dinner at Chimera and headed back home to meet back with the rest of our group and have a shower and rest.  We ended up walking about 20km today, much more than we expected.  But we were happy to be safe at our hotel at the end of the day.

This pretty much ends the pilgrimage part of our World Youth Day trip.  The next couple of days we will be doing some sightseeing around the city.

No comments:

Post a Comment