Welcome to In Via!

Follow me, James Ramos, on my journey to Poland and beyond! Read stories from past pilgrimages around the world, watch videos from World Youth Day 2011 and share your prayer intentions.

What does 'In Via' mean/? It's Latin for 'On the Way,' a reflection of the pilgrim journey of our lives.

James (me!) in Madrid for World Youth Day 2011 with Pope Benedict XVI and more than one million other Catholic young adults.

The future is in your hearts and in your hands. God is entrusting to you the task, at once difficult and uplifting, of working with him in the building of the civilization of love.

— St. John Paul II, Patron of WYD Krakow 2016

World Youth Day Toronto 2002

I am not alone, because Jesus is with me and with Him I fear nothing.

— St. Faustina, Patron of WYD Krakow 2016

Diary #746

Why World Youth Day in Poland? Why now?

Can I tell you a secret?

My dream has always been to see the Pope. And in 2011, that dream of mine came true.

Because of the grace of God and the generosity of my precious family and friends, I saw Pope Benedict XVI in Madrid. My dream was to see the pope in Europe and because I trusted in hope, He saw it through.

Right now, I work as a journalist sharing the story of the nearly 2 million Catholics in Houston. It's been incredible, I'm learning with the Church is and isn't. I've found the presence of grace and mercy alive in faithful in throughout the massive city of Houston. I found it in Philadelphia when I was lucky enough to cover Pope Francis's visit to the United States. I've seen Pope Francis as a journalist and now I hope to encounter him as a pilgrim at World Youth Day in Poland this summer.

Will you help me write the next part of my story?

And that dream I told you about? It's still alive, renewed by Pope Francis' call for a Year of Mercy, which has cemented God's grace in my life. Now I seek to learn from the wisdom of the Polish saints, including St. John Paul II and St. Faustina. While my journey will have two parts, first at the stunning Kartause Carthusian monastery of Gaming, Austria then in Krakow, home to the two saints of Divine Mercy.

If you had a chance to pray in St. John Paul II's homeland and bring the hearts and prayers of others with you, wouldn't you go?

Let my prayer be incense before you…

Speaking of prayer, how can I pray for you?

I want you to send me any of you prayer requests! I will hand write your prayer requests into my prayer enrollment journal now and through World Youth Day Krakow 2016. I will offer your intentions during every Mass I attend, before the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration and even while I'm doing the dishes...

Praying as One

Send in your prayer requests

To be merciful means to grow in a love which is courageous, generous and real.

— Pope Francis

April 3, 2016

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

— Matthew 5:7

World Youth Day Krakow 2016 Theme

The future is in your hearts and in your hands. God is entrusting to you the task, at once difficult and uplifting, of working with him in the building of the civilization of love.

— St. John Paul II

World Youth Day Toronto 2002

To use an image well known to us today, this is like inducing nuclear fission in the very heart of being - the victory of love over hatred, the victory of love over death. Only this intimate explosion of good conquering evil can then trigger off the series of transformations that little by little will change the world.

— Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

World Youth Day Cologne 2003

Read the Beatitudes – it will do you good.

— Pope Francis

World Youth Day Rio 2013