World Youth Day ‘not over’ yet, says local priest

Father Gregory Mastey traveled to World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, July 26-31 with a group of 27 adults and youth from around the diocese including Little Falls, North Prairie, Holdingford, Upsala and Avon. Father Mastey was the spiritual director for the trip.

Father Gregory Mastey
Father Gregory Mastey

Among the highlights, he said, was the night group members spent in adoration with Bishop Robert Barron of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. About 25,000 young people crowded into an indoor arena on the edge of Krakow.

Catholic musicians Matt Maher and Audrey Assad “were helping us sing,” Father Mastey said. “When they sang the song, ‘Lord, I Need You,’ that was incredible.”

He was also excited to be there to hear confessions.

“Many of the confessions I heard were from people who had been away from the sacrament for years. There was real conversion going on and that was exciting to see,” he said.

Father Mastey spent about an hour praying for his parishes and his family at the Divine Mercy shrine in Krakow where the relics of St. Faustina Kowalska are kept.

“To see her relics, to pray in her convent, Wow!” he said. “Just to be there in that holy place in the Year of Mercy was amazing.”

The high point of the trip was just being with the young people, he said.

“There is nothing like having so much joy and seeing everybody from different nations all around you joyfully singing, everybody happy and all of us getting along,” he said.

The group will take some time individually to reflect on their experiences and plans to come together again over Thanksgiving break to continue the conversation.

“It’s not over with just because we came home,” Father Mastey said. “How do we share this encounter, an encounter with Christ? We all have to start doing it. We all have to personally share the joy we received and not hoard it or hold it in.

We’ve got to do that.”

Author: Kristi Anderson

Kristi Anderson is the editor of The Central Minnesota Catholic Magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

Leave a Reply