I signed up for WYD 02 rather late in the game. Wouldn’t it be equivalent watching the coverage from afar? And, frankly, due to some evangelical protestant leanings I held at the time, all the attention on the Pope made me uncomfortable. Still, realizing the opportunity may only come once, I squeezed into the lone vacant spot with the Pembroke, Ontario diocese.
The week was a parade of surprises: that the institutional prioritized the youth! That young Catholics expressed beautiful devotions! And that the Holy Father refuted all complaints of papal celebrity by constantly redirecting attention towards Jesus and His Gospel.
WYD was pivotal for my re-embrace of the Catholic Church. Countless other youth will tell you how God used the pilgrimage similarly in their lives.
To relive that extraordinary week in Toronto, Salt + Light has produced an hour long retrospective program called Reliving WYD 02: Song of the Cross. Watch it this Sunday, July 22nd, and Wednesday night, July 25th, at 8 PM EST.