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Local youths share worship vigil with Pope Francis


TRURO – It was a sight to behold and one Liam Walsh won’t soon forget – a candlelight vigil with the Pope, among throngs 2.5-million strong.

“That was probably my favourite experience, getting to see all those candles across the two and a half million people,” he said, of his recent pilgrimage to Krakow, Poland as part of World Youth Day.

“Everybody had a candle burning,” he said, “lit it up like a wave almost.”

Walsh, 16, of Salmon River was one of five youths and two chaperones from the Immaculate Conception Church in Truro who attended the event, held every three years in a different country. A sixth youth from Cole Harbour also accompanied the group.

Prior to his departure, Walsh said one of his reasons for participating in the pilgrimage was to help reinforce his Christian faith.

He wasn’t disappointed.

“Definitely,” he said. “Just the sheer amount of people there that all share the same faith, that was just, I think, one of the major things about it that really reinforced my faith a little more.”

And participating in the candlelight vigil, following a mass led by Pope Francis early in the day, was an image that will stay with him.

“It’s a good experience to have,” Walsh said, adding it was without question, one that was life changing for him.

“Definitely. It was enlightening and I would want to say, hopeful.”

Janessa Rathgeber, 18, of Bible Hill, found the experience educational and it helped broaden her faith.

“It was great,” she said. “I don’t know if it was life changing but it was definitely a huge event in my life that I will always look back on.”

And it made enough of an impression that Rathgeber said she wants to attend the next World Youth Day, three years from now in Panama.

One of her favourite experiences was participating in “adoration (a form of prayer)” along with so many other people.

“It’s nice to just kind of be in your own bubble with the Lord and just kind of pour out what you need to,” she said. “And it’s super nice because you have thousands and millions of other people doing it at the same time and you’re still just you.”

hsullivan@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @tdnharry

“That was probably my favourite experience, getting to see all those candles across the two and a half million people,” he said, of his recent pilgrimage to Krakow, Poland as part of World Youth Day.

“Everybody had a candle burning,” he said, “lit it up like a wave almost.”

Walsh, 16, of Salmon River was one of five youths and two chaperones from the Immaculate Conception Church in Truro who attended the event, held every three years in a different country. A sixth youth from Cole Harbour also accompanied the group.

Prior to his departure, Walsh said one of his reasons for participating in the pilgrimage was to help reinforce his Christian faith.

He wasn’t disappointed.

“Definitely,” he said. “Just the sheer amount of people there that all share the same faith, that was just, I think, one of the major things about it that really reinforced my faith a little more.”

And participating in the candlelight vigil, following a mass led by Pope Francis early in the day, was an image that will stay with him.

“It’s a good experience to have,” Walsh said, adding it was without question, one that was life changing for him.

“Definitely. It was enlightening and I would want to say, hopeful.”

Janessa Rathgeber, 18, of Bible Hill, found the experience educational and it helped broaden her faith.

“It was great,” she said. “I don’t know if it was life changing but it was definitely a huge event in my life that I will always look back on.”

And it made enough of an impression that Rathgeber said she wants to attend the next World Youth Day, three years from now in Panama.

One of her favourite experiences was participating in “adoration (a form of prayer)” along with so many other people.

“It’s nice to just kind of be in your own bubble with the Lord and just kind of pour out what you need to,” she said. “And it’s super nice because you have thousands and millions of other people doing it at the same time and you’re still just you.”

hsullivan@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @tdnharry

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