World Youth Day

Day 35: I saw God’s Love in Pope Benedict’s Eyes

Paschal Uche, 23, is studying pharmacy. In September 2010, he addressed the Pope on behalf of the young people in Westminster Piazza. People often joke about me having a personal friendship with the Pope after having met him some two years ago on his visit to the UK. In fact one priest friend sometimes calls […]

Day 23: Study this Catechism!

Maria Byrne, 21, is from Surbiton Surrey and works as a Lay Chaplain in a primary school. She is involved with Youth 2000 and the youth initiative, Take A Stand. “A meek man of mighty action” – When I first read these words in a newspaper, describing Pope Benedict, at the time of World Youth […]

Day 21: Reaching out

Majella is a 27 year old MSc student in Psychology in Dublin, who has an interest in Spirituality, and the dialogue between Christianity and other religious traditions. My first memory of Pope Benedict was when he stepped out onto the global stage on his first overseas journey, to address the youth gathered for World Youth […]

Day 18: Living Differently

Fran, 21, is orginally from the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. She is currently studying Theology at Leeds Trinity. Having been brought up in a Catholic family, going to Mass every Sunday with my parents and brothers, you’d think I’d have always had some devotion to our Holy Father. I’m afraid not. Don’t get me […]

Day 15: A Child in God’s Arms

 Naomi Ceairns, 25, is the assistant director at Soli House, a retreat centre for 14-18 year olds in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.  She is orginally from the parish of Christ the King, Coventry but currently lives in community at Soli House with other 12 young people where she helps 1000s of young people each year […]

Day 14: Keep Your Eyes Fixed on the Lord!

Fr. Jan Nowotnik is parish priest of Our Lady & St. Brigid Parish, Northfield Birmingham. He has been a priest of the Archdiocese of Birmingham for nearly fifteen years. He studied at the English College in Valladolid and so has a love of things Spanish! He is the chaplain to the Birmingham Diocesan World Youth […]

Day 13: The Noble Task of Education

Andy Cavadino is a teacher at St Urban’s Catholic Primary School in Meanwood, North Leeds. He is also a catechist and musician, frequently appearing at Catholic events across the country. I still vividly remember turning on the television in a student flat in Manchester and seeing white smoke coming out of a chimney. So much […]

Day 11: Back to Basics with Benedict

Collette is a Law student from Birmingham.  She helps lead 2nd Friday, an informal movement for young adults which focuses on discipleship and evangelisation.  At the time of the Papal Visit I was living a life so very distant from Christ and His Church.   Despite being given the Faith through my baptism, I lived as […]

Day 9: From Cologne to Rome

John Waters is a first year seminarian for the Archdiocese of Birmingham. He is currently studying at the Venerable English College, Rome. Every time I speak to my boyhood parish priest on the phone, he always says the same thing. “Well John, who’d have thought, all those years ago when you went to see the […]

Day 7: Not Your Average Pilgrim

Rachel Kidd, age 25, from Dundee in Scotland. Rachel works for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. She did a year with the Emmanuel School of Mission in Rome, and is the Scottish co-ordinator for Night Fever. When I was first asked to write a blog post about how Pope Benedict has influenced […]

Day 6: We waited in hope and prayer

Fr James Bradley is a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, which he serves as Communications Officer and Private Secretary to the Ordinary. He was received into the Catholic Church in 2011 and sang the gospel for Pope Benedict XVI at the opening ceremony of World Youth Day in Madrid that […]

Day 5: Accepting Benedict’s Challenge

Michaela Blackwell is a 1st year medical student at the University of Cardiff. Michaela was part of the 2011-12 volunteer team at Soli House, a retreat centre for 14-18 year olds in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. I was very unfortunate back in the summer of 2011 not to go to WYD in Madrid, and the decision […]