Brooklyn Diocese Pilgrims Arrive in Europe for World Youth Day

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They’re trickling in from all corners of the Diocese of Brooklyn and ready to encounter Catholics from all corners of the world.

Ahead of official World Youth Day activities, pilgrims from St. Patrick’s Church in Bay Ridge are already having a spiritual experience. 

They started their trip by climbing some of the highest parts of the mountains in Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain.

“As a group we hiked all the way up to this point where there was a cross and you could see over most of Barcelona so that was really cool,” Kerry Woods, a young parishioner at St. Patrick’s, said.

Woods, 17, said it’s been a whirlwind journey thus far, from the peaks of the city to the ceiling of the Segrada Familia, the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world.

“It had these stained glass windows inside and everything in the church had a meaning,” Woods said. “Nothing in there was random.”

During the week of World Youth Day, pilgrims are committed to attending Mass daily, even before the event begins.

Ryan Diyarza, 17, who also attends St. Patrick’s Church, said his group is jetlagged but their excitement is right on time.

“At 3 a.m. we get on a bus and we go to the airport and we have to go through customs and we’re getting on a plane for a two hour flight and we lose time and then we go straight out to Fatima,” Diyarza said. “It’s going to be no sleep, but it’s going to be worth it.”