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Catholic Pilgrimages for Youth and Young Adults
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        Trailblazers tell about their experience

From our last pilgrimage, to Our Lady of Guadalupe (see photos here)
        The Trailblazers were given some questions about their pilgrimage, on the plane trip home, and here is what some had to say. It's amazing how deep and rich the spiritual lives of these young people can be. So much more could be said, these testimonies are as a pebble compared to a mountain!

What will be different about how you live your catholic faith from now on?

I’m going to really really try to get to daily mass, weekly confession, & pray the liturgy of the hours. – Melissa Klimushyn

Everything, I think. I have a much greater appreciation about my faith, and I am proud to be a cradle catholic - Scarlette Pietro

Much more time spent in paryer. This pilgrimage taught me how to pray the liturgy of the hours and daily rosary/chaplet. – Tim Constantino

From now on my devotion to the blessed Mother will be greater. – Robert Weisenburger

I will pray with heart and devotion, and love. – Mario Flores-Valle

I will devote myself entirely to God and trust in his divine mercy and Providence. – Rafael Velasquez

More prayer to Mary! And I will try to see Christ in everyone around me, and treat them accordingly. – Luke Bueche

From now on I will really try to keep praying the rosary and divine mercy chaplet like we did here and I will try to bring others closer to God – Christina Calleros

Increase my prayer and read more of the bible and continue the liturgy of the hours. – Tony Ivezaj

I’ll try to be an apostle and bring others to God. – Luly Calleros

I will live with much more pride and courage to stand up for my catholic faith. – Anne Wolf

I’ve learned how to be a better example of catholic faith by learning to be more patient, less angry, more cheerful and also by becoming loads more understanding. – Marcus Johnson

I will definitely pray more fervently and hopefully attend Eucharistic adoration more often maybe even bring a few family members along! – Virginia Rybicki

How did the pilgrimage affect your prayer life?

This pilgrimage has greatly affected my prayer life. Adoration (almost) every day and the rosaries and chaplets have done wonders, and I think I will always remember to say my grace after meals.   - Scarlette Pietro

It brought it a lot deeper & closer to Mary - Melissa Klimushyn

It gave me a bigger perspective of the world we live in and the church we are a part of. -  Gail King

It allowed me to be proud (not afraid) to pray in public without worrying about what others might think. - Tim Constantino

I feel good about the Catholic faith. – Adam Devich

It made me be loyal to prayer, and showed me the importance of it. – Mario Flores-Valle

It reaffirmed that what I was already doing is the right thing to do, and to keep doing it. - Luke Bueche

Before the pilgrimage I only said night prayers and prayer before meals and the rosary once in a while. Now I feel like I need to say the rosary and divine mercy chaplet &  morning prayer. (If I don’t I feel like something is missing.) – Christina Calleros

It has helped me understand my faith more, and has strengthened my will and endurance. – Tony Ivezaj

Words couldn’t describe how much better it is. – Ken Pietro

Now I know I can go to Mother Mercy, and the saints as well as Jesus. – Sara Marroh

I grew a lot in my prayer life. I’m also glad that I learned to pray in latin. – Luly Calleros

The pilgrimage helped me realize that prayer is very important and a special thing. While praying during the hikes I forgot about the pain I was in. – Anne Wolf

I grew very much in my prayer life on account of all the rosaries and chaplets we prayer and saying the liturgy of the hours in the morning and the evening. – Virginia Rybicki

I will try to find more time to pray throughout the day. - Tony Weisenburger

Extra Comments

This trip ROCKED! ... I found myself a little further on the road to spiritual peace. Thank you Fr. Paul and Alejandro! If it wasn’t for you two (and the “big one”) I wouldn’t have made it.  - Anon.

World Youth Day 2005, Cologne, Germany

See some quotes from our memory book

From our previous pilgrimage, World Youth Day 2005 in Germany (see photos here), these are a selection of quotes from the survey:

The most important things pilgrims got from World Youth Day:

I think now I am more receptive to daily Mass and frequent confession.

The grace and motivation to discover and do God’s will, and to be more fully transformed in Christ.

The universal language is not music but the universal faith – Catholicism.

Ways in which pilgrims were inspired consciously to grow in holiness:

“Spiritual direction…really opened my eyes to the need to continually grow in love for God and by loving God we serve Him in our work, prayer, joys, and sufferings.  Also, the Pope’s encouragement to bring Christ to others. - Julie Chamberlain

It made me realize what gifts I’d been given throughout my life, and that I had a duty to become more holy. - Ben Pohl

Pilgrims’ favorite part of World Youth Day:

Seeing the Pope, and spending time with the Eucharist!!  Because the Pope is the head of the Church, and the Eucharist is our God.

Benediction with the Holy Father because it was then that each one of us realized that Christ was the one who brought us together.

How pilgrims fulfilled the goal to “Come and Adore Our Lord”:

I came all the way to Germany to worship Jesus. - Anon.

I sought out our Lord in every Mass, and in every church, and He gave me many reasons to adore Him in every occasion.  By the last few days it was almost my only focus, to find Christ. - Marnee Wohlfert

Some statistics from the WYD2005 German (Cologne) trip:

There were 194 pilgrims who traveled with the Trailblazers group to Germany for WYD 2005 including:
    2 Priests
    1 Religious sister
    4 Seminarians
    11 Youth Group Leaders
    69 Males
    107 Females

Since then, three of these pilgrims have entered religious orders.

Origins of Pilgrims
By citizenship:      USA – 190                         Mexico – 4
By State:
            Michigan – 189
            Ohio – 2
            Alaska – 2
            North Carolina - 1

 Most of the pilgrims were 18 and 19 years old; ages ranged from 15 to a few chaperones in their 60's

Want to find information about volunteering for Trailblazers? Click here.

 Contact us:
Virginia: editor of The Compass -
Amy : Trailblazers Secretary-
(248) 722-5808     *
Mailing Address: Trailblazers, WYD, Inc., c/o Bovitz, CPA, C.P., P.O. Box 445 , Trenton, MI 48183