World Youth Day 2011 took place in Madrid this year and it was a great privilege for me to go. I loved every minute of it. I got to interact with a very large, varied and vibrant community. I met people from all over the world and heard inspiring speeches from great speakers such as Bishop Caggiano and Archbishop Dolan.
It was very exciting and words cant explain the feeling you get when you walk through a street and massive crowds of people are singing songs and playing music, worshiping God in plain sight of everyone or when thousands of young adults are packed into an arena, not to attend a concert but to celebrate mass. It made me very proud to be a catholic.
The Highlights of the trip for me though were being at events such as the Stations of the Cross or the Saturday night Vigil which the Pope himself presided over and being able to share the experience with my friends.
The Spanish people are very welcoming and it was great fun carrying an Irish flag through the streets and having everyone come up to you for photos.
Yes it was very hot and during the Vigil there was a lighting storm and lots of ants and the Metros was packed but the drawbacks of this trip did nothing to dampen the great atmosphere.
I would recommend that everyone would attend a world youth day because it’s just fantastic to see that there are literally millions of young people who are in love with their faith and they are keeping it alive all over the world. And when they gather in one place to celebrate that faith with each other the atmosphere becomes electric and it’s not to be missed.