World Youth Day, Krakow

World Youth Day, Krakow

A diary by Fr James D. Fanning mhm

Well, I am on my way to Kraków. I have decided to travel with a rucksack. I don't know what to expect but Patrick from Germany, an 18 year old of Polish descent, whom I met in Kampala last year during the Papal visit, assures me me that his Polish people are going to look after us very well. No I do not need to bring a sleeping bag. No I will not have to pay for my stay. He will meet me at the airport and drive me to his friends. From a religious sister I have heard we will sleep in a field one night and do a twenty mile walk on another day! Well I am in trim for walking having been preparing for the past six months for my trip to Compostela on foot in October. I have a minute groundsheet tucked away in my rucksack in case I have to sleep out one night. I am happy to learn that the weather at the moment is very warm there.

Once before I was challenged by a missionary when I wanted to see World Youth day in Cologne as to why I was going when I was not a youth! Well, although I am now 66, I am a missionary and I believe in crossing frontiers to witness to God's love to faraway people. I sense the gap between my generation and the young people is wider than it has ever been. I consider the world of the youth legitimate mission for loving and serving in our Mill Hill way.

I feel called to leave the comfort zone of the 99 adult sheep that I move with all the time and look for the one and a half million who seem to have lost their way-according to some.

(That is the estimated number of youth expected this year in Kraków).But have they really lost their way or is it us who need to be renewed by them? Mission is a two way process in my experience these days. I, at least, can provide sacramental services and the young people can be a source of renewal and ongoing conversion for me. Yes I am going to look for God among the Youth.

James Fanning mhm

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