Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Been There, Done That

Reflection submitted by Joanne Connolly

Been there, done that.
Well, not really. I haven’t been to Spain, or even Europe in general. And as for “done that”…it’s a little bit true.

In 2008, I went to Australia for World Youth Day.

It’s something that I will never forget. You walk down streets and yell out greetings to other groups from other countries who may not even speak your language. You try to see how many flags you can identify (including non-official flags).

People walk up to you and just ask to take a picture with you, or write down your name so when you get home, you have facebook friend requests waiting (I still exchange pleasantries with some girls from Hong Kong).

You celebrate your religion with masses of people that you’ve never met, but with whom you feel a camaraderie with. You’ve never met them, but you’ve all met God. It’s really a gathering of mutual friends.

One thing I learned in 2008 was that Hawaii is hot. No joking around. But it was so beautiful, and I was with friends who I had shared such an amazing week with, that it didn’t even matter. Spain will be hot. But I know the same rules will apply here. I will be in a beautiful place doing amazing things and celebrating with wonderful people. And drinking more water than I ever have in my entire life. But hey, gotta stay hydrated, right? (As I typed the word “hydrated,” it began to rain. How cool is that?!) And I know it won’t be the same as Australia. Try as I might to clone those two weeks, it can never happen again. But that’s good. Spain will be a new adventure with new people to meet and new places to see. I’m going to try my best to ignore how hot it is….because this is a pilgrimage, not a vacation.

Anyway, you may ask why I’m going to another World Youth Day. Well, I want to see the world. And what better way to do it than with Jesus?

Photo credits in order: myself, George L, myself, Boston Archdiocese(?)

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