Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, arrived in Kraków on Saturday to join the group from Our Lady of Guadalupe, Houston, at the World Youth Day activities. Fr. Ed wanted to attend WYD not only because of its significance in the Church, but also because of the significance of the group from the US Province: Fr. Ed had been pastor of OLG until his election as provincial superior in 2015. Most of the young adults in the group are people whom he knew as children at the parish, people whose families he was well acquainted with when he was pastor.
From Krakow Fr. Ed writes:
They have been keeping us on the go since I arrived on Saturday evening. There are more than 250 Dehonian Youth from approximately 19 countries including the U.S. and Canada. There is an amazing spirit among them. Many new friends have been made across cultures and borders. On Monday, Fr. Heiner celebrated Mass and gave a talk on mercy. He had the youth in the palm of his hand.
Tuesday we went from the seminary in Stadniki to Kraków. Thousands of young people are in the city from around the world. The spirit among them is incredible! Lots of singing on the streets and greetings among the nations. Each group carries its national flag. Whenever we passed a group from the U.S. there was always the chant of “USA, USA!!”
Wednesday morning the Dehonian Youth walked to the first and only parish church of St. John Paul II. In the afternoon they had workshops on mercy and Dehonian Spirituality in language groups, followed by a cookout at the seminary in Stadniki. On Thursday we gather again in Kraków to welcome Pope Francis.
The SCJs from Poland have been most welcoming to us all. There is an excellent spirit of fraternity and community. I feel truly blessed to have this international opportunity with our confreres from around the Congregation. It has also been fantastic to be with the group from Our Lady of Guadalupe. Br. Andy has done an amazing job of organizing the pilgrimage for them.