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St. Jude Thaddeus youth going to Spain
church group
St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church youth group of Livingston will be heading to Spain in August for World Youth Day. Pictured in the front row from left to right: Mayra Jimenez, Berenice Cristino, Stephanie Garcia, Carolina Alejandre; back row from left to right: Angel Jimenez, Rosa Garcia, Gerardo Madrigal, Graciela Jimenez and Ricardo Garcia. - photo by Photo by Jose Chavez

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.