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Even thunderstorms could not dampen the excitement of the approximately 200,000 people gathered at Blonia Park this evening for the opening Mass of World Youth Day. Flags of every color and nation waved throughout the Liturgy as pilgrims celebrated the first official gathering of World Youth Day 2016.
Years of preparation finally gave way to the next chapter in the story of Divine Mercy as Cardinal Dziwisz celebrated Mass, replete with multilingual songs and prayers and a homily meditating on our responsibility to respond to Christ here in Krakow. The Cardinal compared the Wisla River to the Sea of Galilee; a place by which we gather to encounter Christ in His infinite mercy.

Following the Liturgy of the Word, the gifts were brought forward along with the image of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a selfless servant of the poor whom Pope Francis has called a role model for all those gathered at World Youth Day.
 
Finally, Cardinal Dziwisz announced: “The World Youth Day of 2016 in Krakow is open!” to the uproarious cheers of a crowd who has waited long in anticipation of this festival of faith. Filled with Christ in the Eucharist and surrounded by Christ in each other, the participants of World Youth Day had a truly great cause for celebration.
 
Cardinal Dziwisz processed off the stage to the tune of “Abba Ojcze,” the official song of World Youth Day 1981 in Czestochowa, followed by St. John Paul II’s favorite song, “Barka.”

Jeanne Marie Hathway

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *

 

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)