Eighteen-year-old Lucy Green is one of thousands of excited young people who will soon board a plane for the 26th World Youth Day (WYD) celebrations in Madrid.
Lucy Green in Melbourne
“It was a bit of a last minute decision for me to go. My sister went to Rome for Mary MacKillop’s canonisation last year and started organising the WYD trip as soon as she got back,” she said. “Her excitement and enthusiasm really started to rub off on me.”
“The WYD celebrations will be amazing, and I’m really looking forward to visiting some famous Catholic landmarks like the Sistine Chapel. I’m completely overwhelmed with excitement.”
WYD is an annual celebration started by Pope John Paul II to inspire the youth and encourage living the teachings of Christ. While the event itself celebrates the Catholic faith, the invitation to attend extends to all youth, regardless of religion.
Lucy is one of 91 ACU staff and students who will walk in the footsteps of Pope John Paul II on a three week pilgrimage through Poland, Italy, Spain and Portugal – and finish up in Madrid.
“I’m glad ACU has made this experience available to students, and I hope this opportunity will allow me to get more of an understanding of Catholicism by being immersed in a culture that celebrates my faith,” she said.
“It’s fantastic the University supports us to go, it would be very difficult otherwise as we will miss some classes, but all of our lecturers have been so helpful with special consideration.”
Steve Lawrence, pilgrimage leader and Director of Identity and Mission at ACU, said the University is committed to the values of WYD.
“Following our incredible involvement in and commitment to the Sydney WYD in 2008, ACU is very pleased to show its support for WYD 2011,” he said.
“We see this pilgrimage as an investment not only for those students and staff who will attend, but also for the broader University through the expression and enrichment of our Catholic identity and mission.”