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World Youth Day Lisbon - From Our Pilgrim!

Hey everyone! This is Katie Furtney, summer intern and young Adult Core member. Tomorrow I leave for Lisbon, Portugal to attend World Youth Day (WYD). There is so much I am looking forward to. There are lot of unknowns, but I am trusting the Lord with everything on this pilgrimage.

I will be traveling with a young adult group from Buffalo to and from Lisbon, and spending the majority of my time with an Italian Catholic group. I studies abroad in Italy this past spring semester, and had the opportunity to join an Italian WYD pilgrimage group. I will be meeting up with a couple friends in Lisbon who I studied abroad with. I am so excited to be reunited with my study abroad friends, who are passionate Catholics, during WYD.

There is something so special about having Catholic friends to experience incredible trips and pilgrimages with. I am blessed to have international friends who I can share my faith with all over the world through travel!

The official WYD festivities start on August 1, so I have a couple days to settle in before beginning the pilgrimage of a lifetime! I really don’t know exactly what to expect everyday on the pilgrimage, but I am surrendering all the unknowns to the Lord and trusting in His plan for me.

I might be going to Fatima during my time in Portugal, which sounds incredible! I had the opportunity to visit Lourdes, France while studying in Italy back in March. Lourdes is such a peaceful place. I was able to drink the miraculous water from the spring and bring some water home with me from Lourdes. Going to another Marian apparition site would make my WYD that much more prayerful!

The apex event of WYD is Mass with Pope Francis on Sunday, August 6th. Most of the pilgrims camp outside the night before on Saturday, then wake up Sunday morning for Mass with the pope! I’m a bit nervous for this as I’m not a fan of camping, but I know it will be a powerful experience! How cool is it to be surrounded by other pilgrims anticipating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with Pope Francis!?

One of the things I am most looking forward to is meeting other Catholics from around the world. I can’t wait to see the universality of the Catholic Church in action! As an avid traveler, I love seeing different cultures and hearing other languages. It will be so transformative to attend Mass with millions of people who worship the same God as me in their respective languages. It will be amazing to see the youth of the Church from all over the globe on fire for the Faith!


Katie is our intern for the summer of 2023 and Young Adult Core Member. She loves baking, traveling (especially to Italy), and the Lord!

She is a student at Buff State approaching her last semester of Environmental Geography and is looking forward to what the Lord has in store!


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