World Youth Day 2016, Krakow, Poland

It’s been 19 years since my last pilgrimmage of any sort, back then to the Holy Land of Israel. I’ve been inactive in church for all that time ever since, having left Singapore to study in Canada for six years from when I was 15.

The contingent of 170 pax from OYP departs from Changi Airport.

The idea of heading to World Youth Day 2016 came over a breakfast discussion late last year with my sis, and having began on an interior journey that was a long time coming after a series of life changing events, it finally culminated in an unforgettable albeit exhausting 16 days for me in central Europe.

Praise and worship session at Youth Arise! International in Zory, Poland.

It required a huge leap of faith as I did not know a single soul heading onto this trip, with a group of 170pax from OYP. But as God would have it, I made so many new friends and learnt so much more about community in a critical season of my life as I continue to figure out my true identity.

Pilgrims hold candles during the vigil for the World Youth Day 2016 closing mass.

From the Youth Arise! International workshops and seminars in Zory right down to the WYD proper, it was a spiritually enriching experience, and a true eye opener that can only be achieved through hardship and leaving my comfort zone.

Here are some of the more memorable photos I took over that 2 week period.

With my awesome new group of friends Sharon, Stanley, Tammy, and Deanna at the YAI! Concert.
Italian pilgrims request to take a photo with me and our popular Singapore flag at the event.
The central square of Wadowice, hometown of Pope John Paul II, and our residence for the final week.
Official flag bearer for the Youth Arise! International Opening Parade.

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