By Sarah Farrell - May 31st, 2023 | Posted in News No comments

The Portsmouth World Youth Day pilgrimage group are getting really excited for their departure for Lisbon on Monday 31st July. They have been meeting regularly to get to know one another and prepare for their pilgrimage.

On Saturday 25th March, the group gathered in Winchester for the second day altogether. We played games and received catechesis and formation, we attended Mass together and got to know one another even more… we even learnt some Portuguese, and had a lot of fun! In the afternoon we went on a long walk to St Catherine’s Hill, stopping along the way to pray the Stations of the Cross together. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to actually walk to the top of the hill, which would have been excellent preparation for Lisbon, which is a very hilly city! On our return from the walk, we had catechesis from Sr Carino on the sacrament of reconciliation, and then all the pilgrims took the opportunity to receive the grace of the sacrament. We ended the day with a huge delivery from Dominos, which was really enjoyed by everyone. A very grateful thanks to Fr Mark and the Winchester parish for hosting us!

On Saturday 20th May, we all gathered again, but this time in Windsor! This was the third time the pilgrims were meeting, and it was absolutely wonderful to see them greeting one another like old friends, not like people who had only met a handful of times! We had a really fun day together; we began with Mass, followed by lunch and a very competitive game of ‘Dustbin’. After some formation and discussion on Luke 9:18-25, ‘Who Do You Say that I Am?’, it was off to the local park for an Emmaus walk and a very fun game of rounders! After some refreshment, we gathered back in the beautiful church of St Edward’s in Windsor for a Holy Hour before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament; Fr Godwin gave us some beautiful catechesis on what it means to adore the Lord and some of the young people took the opportunity to receive the sacrament of reconciliation. Before dinner, there was another opportunity for some competitive fun, in the form of the ‘WYD Bake Off’! During which the pilgrims had to craft a landmark from one of the WYD host cities; we had an excellent Cologne Cathedral and the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janiero. After dinner and social time, we all departed Windsor even more excited for our pilgrimage.

Thank you to all those of you who have been praying for us and have generously donated towards the cost of our pilgrimage, we are extremely grateful! Could you sponsor a T-shirt for a young person going to WYD? Or help cover our travel costs? Just £10 would really help us to get to Lisbon. You can donate here and please be assured of our prayers!