Ahead of their departure to World Youth Day 2019 in Panama, Catholic Outlook spoke to six pilgrims from the Diocese of Parramatta about their preparations and what they are excited about experiencing whilst on pilgrimage
Angelique Mackenzie, full-time employee at Church Stores in Sydney and first-time World Youth Day pilgrim.
Parish: Parish of Richmond (St Monica’s).
Catholic Outlook: How many times have you been to World Youth Day?
Angelique Mackenzie: This is my first World Youth Day, coming up in 2019.
CO: Why did you want to go to World Youth Day in Panama?
AM: I wanted to go to World Youth Day because I have heard of the wonderful experiences everyone receives when they have attended in previous years. It is an incredible moment of expression of faith from the youth of the Church around the whole world.
CO: What has been the most interesting thing you have learnt during your formation sessions?
AM: The most interesting thing I’ve learnt during my formation sessions is how much I need to actually prepare for this pilgrimage – physically, spiritually and emotionally. These formation sessions have been great with preparing us, teaching us different kinds of prayers and helping us to create bonds with other pilgrims.
CO: What are you looking forward to most on this World Youth Day pilgrimage?
AM: I am looking forward to meeting other people of faith from different cultures, seeing how they express their faith, but mostly seeing how much my faith is strengthened throughout the pilgrimage and what I will learn about myself and my faith along the way.
CO: What are you hoping to experience whilst in Panama?
AM: I am hoping to experience an encounter with Christ, where I may be able to have a clearer view of Christ’s vocation for me.
CO: What would you say to those hoping to go to the next World Youth Day?
Just as Mary said yes, we need to also say yes to Christ and follow Him. There is no better way to say yes than through pilgrimage.
World Youth Day is well known for increasing the faith of many of the youth of the Church. It’s something I think everyone should experience at some point in their life.
For more information on the Diocese of Parramatta’s pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2019 in Panama, please visit parrawyd.org