Tuesday, 21 September 2010

A Young Person's Reflection on the Papal Visit

Below is a short piece from Jazzie Van den Berg from Guildford who was at Westminster Cathedral and in Hyde Park on Saturday:

"I was one of the Youth from Arundel and Brighton who was chosen by my church to go to Westminster Cathedral and Hyde Park on Saturday 18th September (See picture left of A&B Youth queuing for Hyde Park).

It was a day I’ll never forget. I left on a coach at 5am with four of my friends from my church, St Josephs in Guildford.

When I reached Westminster Cathedral I was shocked at how many people had come to visit the pope and there were loads of people watching the mass from their office windows. Thousands of teenagers were crammed into the plaza in front of the Cathedral and there were many news reporters and police. Sky news interviewed our group and we were on television very early in the morning.

When the Pope arrived we all cheered and clapped and it was very loud although the Mass was solemn and prayerful. But when he came out and greeted us all everyone became very loud. He blessed us all and it was an emotional moment for everyone.

The day carried on getting more exciting as we walked towards Hyde Park and the crowds cheered us along which made everyone feel very special as we processed along and many people were waving flags from their windows and there were many tourists taking photos. We were so proud to be young Catholics and be part of this special day.

We could hardly believe it when we got to Hyde Park only to find that all the Youth had been given seats right in front of the Alter and we could see the stage perfectly from our seats. There was a sense of joy when Pope Benedict arrived and the whole of Hyde Park was energised and cheering. The crowds calmed down when the vigil started and the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and venerated.

It was an amazing feeling to see so many Catholics from all cultures together praying in silence to God and thousands of people all ages being moved by the Holy Spirit. It definitely has to be the best pilgrimage I have ever been on!

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