Young people from various parishes throughout the diocese met on Sunday 20th February for the second of the diocesan World Youth Day preparation gatherings.

130 young people and leaders are travelling to Madrid for World Youth Day from August 15th-22nd 2011.

The gathering for all pilgrims was held in Mount Saint Anne’s Retreat Centre in Killenard, Portarlington. Over the day the young people had a chance to mix with other pilgrims they hadn’t met before and there was some time given to a brief Spanish Lesson in an attempt to master some of the basic phrases before we head off to Madrid!

Guest speaker for the day was Fr Benny Mc Hale from Co Mayo. Fr Benny works with young people full time and has given retreats to thousands of young people over the years. He spoke to the pilgrims about their personal faith journey and about pilgrimage. He encouraged them to make a difference, and the young people really enjoyed his humour!

The day concluded with the celebration of Mass. Pilgrims will meet again in April and until then will be busy fundraising to help with the cost of the pilgrimage.