In a few weeks I will bid adieu to you all and embark on the greatest adventure of my life so far as I travel to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil for my second World Youth Day. As a result of all your kind donations and support I was able to go to WYD Madrid in 2011 and it was such an important event in my life. It changed the way I looked at everything and was a vital catalyst for my journey into adulthood. My time in Rio will however be very different to that which I spent in Madrid. Instead of attending as a pilgrim, witnessing all the central acts such as catechesis, stations of the cross, lots and lots and lots of masses and pope stalking; I will be reporting on everything that is happening during WYD week, broadcasting it to the catholic world. This means that my days will be very intense but even more so, rewarding.
Since October I have been quietly working for the World Youth Day organisation translating news from Portuguese to English and then passing these translations on to the rest of the world. On top of this I’ve been running the official WYD Facebook and Twitter accounts which have nearly 900,000 followers. I have been doing all this along with a very small English speaking team from around the world. Over the last few months I’ve developed a close friendship with these people and I am really looking forward to working with them during the events in Rio. I’m sure that we will continue to be close friends even after the event has passed.
Without bragging, two of the people I work with passed my name onto the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and I have received accreditation to report on behalf of them whilst in Rio. Once WYD is over I am spending a little bit more time travelling round Brazil cherishing every moment I get over there and hopefully will get a little time to explore Rio once all the tourists are gone. After this I will return back to England but spend the rest of my summer up in the Lake District performing a somewhat similar job for an event called WYDFest (World Youth Day Festival) which is being run by the Diocese of Salford and the Diocese of Lancaster. This event is for all young people who weren’t able to attend Rio and I will be spending my time working with a lot of close friends from Madrid.
Every second of this fantastic summer wouldn’t in any way be possible without your support and prayers and I want to thank you for every penny you contributed to my initial WYD trip. Not only did it help me enjoy a wonderful experience but it dramatically developed me as a person and I count myself as an incredibly lucky person to be a part of the parish of Sacred Heart and St Francis. You’re all awesome!
As Rio gets closer I hope to set up a way for you to track the events in Rio through a personal video log. However please make sure you like ‘World Youth Day’ on Facebook and follow @WYD_en on Twitter.See you soon,