A delegation from the youth group of St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church in Livingston will depart on Aug. 8 for a two -week pilgrimage to attend World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain with His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.
In spite of visa restrictions, the rise of oil prices and the situation of violence experienced in many countries, over one million Catholic young people from all over the world will travel to Madrid, Spain this summer.
The Livingston Youth Group has been sacrificing and raising funds for over a year to cover their expenses by making and selling literally thousands of tamales (with the help of their mothers, of course) and holding car washes. Thanks also to some generous contributions from benefactors and donations from parish groups, they have achieved their goal.
World Youth Day was founded in 1985 by Blessed John Paul II and attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims at each gathering, which is held every four years. The last World Youth Day in 2008 was held in Sydney, Australia.
“It’s going to be a very spiritual experience that will invigorate their faith and verify everything that they believe in,” said Msgr. Harvey Fonseca, their pastor. “As these young people gather, it will certainly give them a sense of the universality of the Catholic Church.
“There are 1. 3 billion Catholics worldwide, a very theoretical number until you go to World Youth Day, then the history of the church all of a sudden become tangible. I know because I attended World Youth Day at Denver, Colorado in 1993.”
The Livingston group will travel with the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit and give a presentation on the “State of the Church in the United States” and interact with other groups from Italy, Mexico, Spain and the United States.