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T&T WYD pilgrims arrive in Lisbon safely; stationed at St Cristovao Parish

The Catholic News reporter, Renée Smith is among the group of 35 pilgrims at World Youth Day 2023. Stay connected to The Catholic News each week or follow us on social media @catholicnewstt for stories, videos, and photos of the 15-day pilgrimage.

The thirty-five pilgrims who left T&T to represent the Archdiocese of Port of Spain at World Youth Day 2023 have landed safely in Porto, Portugal.

Earlier that day (July 25) they met a familiar face, Fr Raymond Francis who is also on another pilgrimage and blessed the group on their journey that lasted just under 18 hours.

From July 26–30, the contingent will be staying at St Cristovao Parish located in Porto, Portugal. The host families greeted the pilgrims with the ringing of church bells at the church – Igreja  de São Cristóvão ou Igreja Matriz de Louredo and applauded them as they exited the bus.

The group will participate in ‘Days in the Diocese’ which includes activities with the parish, their host families, tours of the Portugal and celebrating Mass daily together until July 30.

Pilgrims anxious and excited for the journey ahead 

Interestingly, my anxieties came from preparing for the trip. By the time I got to the airport, I began imagining all the new and exciting things I’d be seeing doing and capturing. I’m really looking forward to celebrating Mass in another language, in churches that take my breath away and with the Holy Father during the all-night Vigil on August 7.

I asked some other pilgrims to share what they were most excited about.

Josiah Barclay: “I’m really excited about meeting new people, the vigil. Looking forward to what God wants out of the experience for me.”

Dr Jacinta Douglas (medic on the trip) shared that despite the arduous journey, “I am happy we all arrived safely and no one or anything was lost. I am looking forward to celebrating my faith in another country especially when we visit Fatima on July 31.”