Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 22, 2002
Denver deepened pilgrims' faith
WYD served as delegates' catalyst to develop, discover new spiritual lives
By RENATO GANDIA
"I wanted to be a part of spreading the faith and really being a light for the world."
- Sr. Annuntiata Cornelio
Because of that experience, she wanted to give more than what she was doing at that time, said the Vancouver-born sister, now based in Hobbema.
When the world youth gathered again in Manila in 1995, Cornelio was there again, this time as a postulant for her religious order.
"What really hit me there was the faith of the Philippine people. It's so alive and active and they were not afraid to express it. Their fire lit my fire to be more zealous."
John Horsman, 25, of St. Joseph Basilica, was 16 when he went to Denver. For him it was an eye opener, an experience to see the Church in a different light.
"I felt that I really belong to the Church as opposed to being a youth outside the Church. I felt that the pope cared for us."
Horsman, who will be in Toronto, wants to stay open to whatever the fruits of his pilgrimage will be.
"I walked into the Denver experience with an open mind and what was there to impact me. That's what I want to do with this Toronto experience."
Nicole Wilson was also a teenager at the Denver WYD. Her mother asked her if she wanted to see the pope.
"I thought, it's easier to go to Denver for a week than arguing about it with my mom. At that time it was the most awesome faith experience in my life."
Denver WYD hooked Wilson to learning more about her faith. She was told that it was not just a one-week pilgrimage. It's a pilgrimage that lasts your entire life - from the day you decide to go.
"I took that very seriously and have continued along that journey," said the assistant WYD coordinator for the Edmonton Archdiocese.
Sandra Talarico had a unique experience in Manila. She represented the English speaking Canada to a 10-day conference of youth from around the world before WYD itself.
The pope was in better shape at that time and he attended some of the conferences. Talarico still cherishes the chance of participating in the papal Mass with only a hundred other delegates from around the world.
For her, that was a bonus. Witnessing the faith of the Filipino people "was fabulous."
She did not realize how Catholic the country was until she saw signs of Catholicity everywhere she turned her eyes.
"Buses, cabs, everything in the regular society, there were crosses and rosaries. Their faith is their life and the pope being in Manila accentuated that."
Bringing home that experience was powerful for her and encouraged her to be more involved in her Church.
"My faith was intensified even more."
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