Our Youth

Youth Views: What is One Word to Describe Your Experience at WYD Panama and Why?

Giselly Fernandez Our Lady of Sorrows, Corona

Re-birth: I feel like you’re getting a second chance. Not everybody gets the opportunity to come out here and meet the pope. Just having the opportunity to go to catechism. That never happens in New York so I feel like you get a chance to talk about your feelings and ask questions. You have a second chance to change if you want, you don’t have to be the same person.”

Sarah Carr St. Patrick’s, Bay Ridge

Vulnerability: If you’re vulnerable, you can really let yourself reap the benefits of World Youth Day. You can really let yourself feel everything that you are meant to be feeling and you’re not going to feel that unless you are vulnerable and … open up. I just feel like that is such an important part of connecting and that’s what made this WYD the most intimate one for me thus far.”

Thomas Doyle St. Patrick, Bay Ridge

Pilgrimage: They made it very clear we’re not on a vacation. This is to learn, to develop, to become a better person, to become a better Christian and just grow with God. With the theme being Mary being a servant to God, we’re learning a lot about ourselves that I didn’t think we would learn.”

David Rodriguez
Blessed Sacrament, Jackson Heights
Good energy: Young people have the spirit to keep going and you can see that in them and it kind of makes you want to try harder, like don’t give up, you got to keep going. That’s what life is. It’s a challenge, so if it’s hard, then you push harder.”
Patrice Legoute,
Cathedral Seminary House of Formation, Douglaston
Daniela Diaz Our Lady of Sorrows, Corona
Renewing: Before coming on this trip, I wasn’t doing so well spiritually. Since being here I feel like I’ve been fulfilled. It’s just a great relief to know that you can practice your faith so freely and have others understand you and not feel uncomfortable when you’re praising the Lord or engaging in songs and psalms and understanding the homily.”
Kervens Georges, SS. Joachim and Anne, Queens Village
Strength: It has strengthened my faith. For the past year, I’ve had a lot of struggles both spiritually and mentally. After this trip, a mountain of stress came off my back. Going back home, I’m a better person, a better friend and a better son.”
Victoria Diaz St. Brigid, Bushwick
Liberating: I came here to see if I can change myself but it felt like all the pain and the baggage that I have carried every day just dropped. I felt more at ease so I feel really happy.”
Catherine Salazar St. Dominic’s, Bensonhurst
Colorful: There’s so many colors in the flags and obviously the place we are around is very colorful too. Panama is just a very colorful country. I think it’s one of the beautiful things of this country that Pope Francis chose to be here.”
Jorge Severino Our Lady of Sorrows, Corona
Redeeming: I wasn’t very spiritual at home. Seeing everybody else act out their faith helps me understand that it’s not something I should keep inside myself.”