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Taylor Lukasik ‘17

In a sea of two million people, I felt my eyes gloss over with tears. At that moment, every burden accompanying me onto this trip no longer felt like just mine. Earlier in the day, we had travelled almost ten miles on foot to reach the colossal field where a multitude of pilgrims would spend the next twenty-four hours. Some equipped with inflatable pool rafts and some toting a simple blanket, we all would be sharing the same floor this night. Once the Diocese of Venice had settled in and claimed our plot of land, the beginning of my journey began. Someone I had never spoken to before offered me a warm smile and informed me Mass was about to begin. I knew the official festivities didn’t start for another few hours, but the stranger was cloaked in a familiar green shirt, so I nodded and thanked him. Soon after, I noticed a large number of the young men from our diocese, arms full of water bottle cases. I watched for a time and then realized: they were building an altar. Soon after, Father Scanlan ‘03 appeared and amidst the blaring multilingual ballads and festering heat, we began the celebration of Mass. In an instant, I was fully present. Amongst the chaos, I heard every word and felt every response. Something about the peaceful scene surrounded by utter disarray made me realize the sheer universality of the church. In the virtual middle of nowhere in Kraków, Poland, all we needed was the Body, the Blood, and the Word. Millions of others encircled us, yet we were all together as One. My gaze floated around, attempting to process the full extent of this fleeting instant. I was born and raised in Cape Coral, Florida and had neglected to so much as step outside of the church in my backyard. In the social scene, being passionate about religion is not particularly “cool”; Therefore, I had tidied and groomed my faith to exist

strictly behind the wooden church miles they had endured. I then realized, doors. Suddenly, in the presence of two after this journey, I was much like my million young Catholics from all over shoes: We would never be the same the world, I realized it is not the church. again. But rather, my Church. Our Church. Our Church is not the stained-glass windows or the hard oak pews. It is us: the People of God. I had travelled over 5,000 miles, carrying the weight of an uncertain purpose for my presence. Within the few weeks leading up to the trip, it was heavily stressed that God Himself had “called me to be there”. I was reassured He wanted me there for a special reason. In true teenager style, I would scoff and leave it at just bons that, as everyone is “special” to , Taylor Lukasik, Eddie Gib L to R: Emmanuel Routsis Him. I never investigated these claims nor viewed the trip as anything Eddie Gibbons ‘17 more than just a trip. But suddenly, I believe in God. He has a plan for all kneeling in this vast field, it became of us, an intricately shaped and detailed much more. one before we set foot in the world. Later on in the day, Pope Francis He loves us so much; it’s indescribable. addressed the pressuring issues of For those who are or have been lost, my generation in two words: “couch He finds you. He places events, people, potatoes”. Much like I originally places, experiences in front of all of us to brushed off the underlying message of this pilgrimage in true teenager fashion, lead us towards him. I say this because He’s done it to me. Pope Francis warned us of the dangers I was in Kraków, Poland for the 31st of laziness in true elderly fashion. World Youth Day. Besides meeting new However played out this argument friends, talking with seminarians about may seem to us youth, he reinstated its validity. The Pope stressed the toxicity of vocations, praying at multiple churches in Kraków, and visiting Auschwitz, becoming a spectator to these counterthe most inspiring person I saw there cultural times and provided a call to was Pope Francis. His reflections and action: to go out and live the Christian lessons were fantastic. Although he life. With my personal journey of redemption beginning a few short hours appeared simply as a white speck on a big stage, it felt like he was really there, ago, these words resonated strongly speaking softly to each of the pilgrims within my heart. there. Like a gentle father speaking to         After returning to the hotel his children. I didn’t realize the effect following the long journey back, I this man had made on my life until I looked at my shoes. They had taken arrived home. Since I’ve come back, I quite the beating; they were swollen have felt the desire to attend daily mass, with water, caked in mud, and demolished from the almost twenty pray frequently throughout my day, and BISHOP VEROT ALUMNI MAGAZINE

FALL 2016 | BLACK & GOLD

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Profile for Bishop Verot Catholic High School

B&g fall2016 web final  

B&G Fall 2016 Bishop Verot Alumni Magazine

B&g fall2016 web final  

B&G Fall 2016 Bishop Verot Alumni Magazine

Profile for bvhs
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