Father R. Eric Hall, IV, joins youth at a rally at the Tauron Arena in Krakow.
By Tim Bishop
Nearly 30 youth from around the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston joined Father James R. DeViese, Jr., J.C.L., administrator of St. Patrick Parish in Weston; Father R. Eric Hall, IV, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Martinsburg and St. Bernadette Mission in Hedgesville; and Robert Perron, executive director of the diocesan Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at the World Youth Day celebrations in Krakow, Poland, July 26-31. Nearly two million young people from around the world attended the event, highlighted by a visit from Pope Francis. Perron said the group first travelled to Rome for three days where youth got the chance to experience the Vatican where they celebrated Mass and visited many of the historical churches and other sites. From Rome, the group travelled to Krakow, where they attended rallies each day. Perron said the rallies included music, prayer, Mass and keynote addresses from several cardinals who also made the trip. The group also visited the St. Faustina religious community. “For our youth,” Perron said, “it was not only an opportunity for them to be pilgrims and learn more about our faith, they also got a larger sense of the universal church—that the church is beyond just our diocese or country, that it is vibrant and alive across the world. “Our youth were blown away by being able to see and meet young people from almost every culture from around the globe,” he said. “Many told me that the experience made them feel like they were not alone in the faith. They found it hard not to be excited as they were surrounded by so many young, faithful followers of Christ.”
(Read full story in our latest issue)