Excitement rises as World Youth Day nears

By Cristina Ruiz
WYD Pilgrim, St. Bernardine, San Bernardino

Three years ago a group of youth from St. Bernardine Catholic Church had a vision: they were determined to make it to World Youth Day in Spain. Even though this determination was very high, there was one barrier holding them back. The cost was a bit expensive and none of the youth had the money to pay for the trip. Although this was true, it was not enough to hold them back. A decision was then reached that they would work hard and fundraise their way to that ticket.

I am proud to say that I am part of the group of youth that did this and after three years of hard work, we are finally only a couple weeks away from traveling overseas to unite with millions of other Catholic youth like ourselves.

These past three years have been nonstop fundraising and I know it will be worth all the hard work in the end. I believe that having worked so much for this to happen makes it that much better because it really shows how much we have wanted this since day one. Sure, we have had our disagreements and our arguments in the group, but it is only because over this period of time, the group is no longer a group, we are a family. And just like any other family, we have our good and bad moments but we always stick together.

St. Bernardine WYD group at Cinco De Mayo fundraiser.

The date for us to leave is fast approaching and the excitement within each of us is quickly rising. Going on this trip means so much to us because of what we’ve done to reach our goal. For me, personally, it is a chance to grow in my faith and meet others who will be experiencing the same thing. It is amazing to me that all these people from all different backgrounds and cultures are coming together for one simple reason: their faith. We are all so different but these differences don’t even exist when we come together under God.

There are plenty of people who would love to be in my place and I am extremely grateful that I have this opportunity. Even though our parish cannot accompany us, as much as we’d like, we are taking along with us their petitions. This is to show that, they too, in a spiritual way, are joining us in our journey.

We are approaching the day that we have all been waiting for and I am sure I speak for everyone in the world that is attending World Youth Day when I say that I have never been more excited.