World Youth Day Blog Friday 29 July 2016
Brother Martin Bennett Ofm Cap is blogging for us from World Youth Day in Krakow. Here is his latest blog:
As we reach the halfway point, blisters have now entered the language of our WYD pilgrimage! In many ways today, Friday, was a very special day. Pope Francis showed the world the power of silent presence as he visited the former Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz. During this visit he said nothing and said everything at the same time. His pained expression as he walked through those infamous gates and under the words offering an illusionary freedom, spoke loudly of a man touched by the suffering of the world. Francis’ silent prayer, all 13 minutes of it, echoed a wake-up call across a troubled world; for those with ears to hear it.
It was a special day for our Dublin pilgrims too. Rising early as usual, some headed off on a 20km pilgrimage walk to the shrines of Saint John Paul II and Saint Faustina, while the remainder of the group walked a shorter distance to a catechesis led by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
Archbishop Martin called on the pilgrims to ask two questions of themeselves: Who is Jesus? and Who am I? He reassured us of both the challenge and opportunity that lies in seeking answers to these questions. In many ways they are questions that call us into deeper relationship with God, oursleves and others.
During the catechesis a number of pilgrims came forward to ask Archbishop Martin important questions reflecting the struggles and challenges they face as young Catholics in Ireland today. Issues such as gender equality, faith formation for families, how to live the Beattitudes, how to support those struggling with mental ill-health, the identity of the Church today, role of women in the Church and how to involve other young people, were posed. The archbishop listened and responded to each in turn.