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Alpha at SS Alban & Stephen Catholic Church in St Albans

World Youth Day 2011

We welcome back all our pilgrims who've been to Madrid for World Youth Day 2011 with Pope Bendict, and literally millions of other young Catholics from all around the globe.  We thank God for their safe return.   We thank Joanna French, our Parish Youth Coordinator, and her two assistants, Tim Stevens and Cathy Hannah for all their work in looking after the group.

We're starting to receive photos from some of the pilgrims, a few of which we've posted here. Please enjoy them.

What IS World Youth Day

This exciting pilgrimage of faith began over 25 years ago when Pope John Paul II called the youth of the world together.
The 2002 World Youth Day in Toronto was his last.  By that stage the Pope was  already physically very frail and often had to use a special chair because he was too weak to walk.

When it came to the final Mass the chair was set in place but to everyone’s surprise the Pope didn’t use it.
Afterwards he was asked why to which he responded: ‘I wanted to show the young people of the world that just because the next step is difficult doesn’t mean we should give up trying.’

Those words of wisdom echo the challenge of our Gospel of 7th August (2011). During this amazing encounter Jesus invites Peter to come to him across the water.

He responds and then sinks only to be rescued by his Lord. We need courage to follow Christ in our modern world.

Just because the way forward is difficult, doesn’t mean we give up. We also ask for faith to recognise Jesus in the storms of life and to believe, like Pope John Paul II, that God is with us every difficult step of the way.

Today Jesus is speaking to us in the words of a contemporary hymn:

Do not be afraid, I am with you.
I have called you each by name.
Come and follow me. I will bring you home.
I love you and you are mine.

Our Pilgrims

Pictured below are our pilgrims, on the steps of our Church on Sunday 14th August, just before they set off for Stansted Airport, include their leader Joanna French, and her two assistants Tim and Hannah

So...some QUESTIONS & ANSWERS about World Youth Day

What is World Youth Day?
It is a great worldwide encounter with the Pope which is celebrated every three years in a different country. This time it will be celebrated in Madrid from August 16th to 21st, 2011.

Why is it celebrated?
To share with the whole world the hope of many young people who want to commit themselves to Christ and others.

What is it “to live a WYD”?
It may be a unique way to deepen your faith and grow closer to Christ, by means of prayer and the sacraments, together with thousands of other young people who share your interests and ambitions.

Is it just for Catholics?
No, WYD is open to all young people who want to take part in a festive encounter with their contemporaries centered on Jesus Christ.

What is the agenda for the event?
During the week of World Youth Day, there will be a complete cultural agenda in addition to the events with the Pope. Check out the main events of WYD.


To raise funds for this trip our young people have been rolling up their sleeves to earn their fare, washing cars at Maryland, Marshalswick and at Church, since 5th June !!!   Huge thanks to all who have donated and supported us so far.

Here are some photos from their first day 5th June, 9am at Marshalswick Mass Centre, capturing their hard work!   (Well done to Tom Pugh too, who spoke to the congregation before the final prayer, and explained more about their plans for WYD in Madrid this year)

If you have any of your own, please do send them in to us at webmaster@albanstephen.com


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 © Ss Alban & Stephen Catholic Church, 2011