Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Yet Another Young Persons' Reflection on the Papal Visit

Three A&B Young Pilgrims at Hyde Park
Below is a reflection on the Vigil in Hyde Park from 15 year old Joe Simon:

The atmosphere was electrifying, the people were beautiful with the faith they were advertising so proudly to the world and the Pope was serene, inspiring and thought-provoking. The day started off with a group of 35 from the town of Weybridge in Surrey; at first everyone was slightly nervous yet by the end strong friendship bonds had been formed. We could not escape the vivifying happiness of the thousands of people around us as we processed our way up to Hyde Park, ambling slowly along. People from different sides of London were approaching us as if we were long lost friends, all united through the fire that our faith was exuding.
When we finally reached the Park and settled down amid the buzzing 80,000 people, I personally felt such pride that I was part of the Catholic Church and a sense of greater being settled down on me. The fantastic performers and the time we had rekindling old friendships immediately set the pace for the day, leaving us relaxed as well as personally and emotionally ready for the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI. Wherever I walked I managed to spot people I knew from retreats I had been on, and people from the Arundel & Brighton Lourdes community. And as the hours crept by and the excitement grew in the crowds, you could only find yourself shouting out the words of “Shine, Jesus, Shine” at the top of your voices while papal flags were flying high, as if we were supporting at a football match.

There is a picture in my mind of three women from our parish - Linda, Simone and Barbara, my mother, looking so joyful, which for any teenager is their worst nightmare! Then the screaming started and heads turned towards the big screens, trying to catch a glimpse of the icon that we had all been waiting for, and as he appeared with the white, swirling robes it seemed almost unreal that WE were going to see the Pope!

Deacon Gerard Hatton
This was the moment we had all been waiting for. This was it. As he pulled into Hyde Park and the Vigil started, a penetrating silence overcame the crowds as we so desperately wanted to absorb every word he had to say, to such an extent that my mother ended up on my shoulders to get a better view! Familiar faces were also sighted on the big screens, such as our newly ordained deacon, Gerard Hatton receiving the monstrance from the Pope and laying it on the altar. We stood in awe. By the end of the momentous vigil of prayer with its renewal of faith and strength we all cheered for our leader as he retreated back for some well earned rest.

The day left me with many emotions: I no longer felt sceptical towards the Pope because of his views. That evening, I saw a fragility and beauty which touched me deeply. My faith felt renewed, which is hard to find for a 15 year old boy, and it is ironic that in a crowd of 80,000 people I managed to find something that was so little and minute in my life and, lastly, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS ALIVE. This is the aspect of the Vigil that struck me the most. Though scarred and challenged, faith is healed up through the common belief that God provides salvation for us all.

For more pictures at Hyde Park go to http://www.thepapalvisit.org.uk/hyde-park-pics

No comments:

Post a Comment