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On the way to Poland and beyond!

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Hi friends!

The hardest (and yet the simplest) thing I learned at World Youth Day in Madrid is that we are never alone.

Wandering around the city center, I had gotten separated from my group trying to find the Popemobile. There were hundreds of people all around me, dozens of languages easily in earshot, but nothing sounded familiar. I clued in on English conversations, but they weren't a familiar face. I started getting overwhelmed, and even emotional.

I had lost my group. We had a meeting point later that evening, but not for several more hours. I remembered I had a snack in my backpack and sat down to eat. I mean, what else do you do when you're stressed right? On a curb outside a sports arena, I plopped down and peeled back my banana and tried to enjoy it. It was all brown. It got smushed by stuff in my bag. My banana!

Then I felt a tap on my shoulder: "James?!" It was my friend Sofi the Hungarian. She was lost, too. She sat down next to me and gave me a hug. I had the biggest smile, then pointed at my banana.

"I'd offer you some, but it's terrible." She reached in her bag and pulled out two bananas, one for each of us. I wasn't alone.

Just like Sofi, you're by my side because you've joined my Pilgrimage Support Team. I am deeply thankful that you are here and part of this mission with me, because when I think about my partners, it encourages me. I know that I am not alone. To learn more how to join my Support Team, or for other ways to contribute, fill out the form below. Thank you! (And thank you, Sofi!)

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“The Lord tells us: 'the first task in life is this: prayer.' But not the prayer of words, like a parrot; but the prayer, the heart: gazing on the Lord, hearing the Lord, asking the Lord."

— Pope Francis

'You pay God a compliment by asking great things of Him.'

— St. Teresa of Avila

CONTACT

Hi friends!

The hardest (and yet the simplest) thing I learned at World Youth Day in Madrid is that we are never alone. Wandering around the city center, I had gotten separated from my group trying to find the Popemobile. There were hundreds of people all around me, dozens of languages easily in earshot, but nothing sounded familiar. I clued in on English conversations, but they weren't a familiar face. I started getting overwhelmed, and even emotional.

I had lost my group. We had a meeting point later that evening, but not for several more hours. I remembered I had a snack in my backpack and sat down to eat. I mean, what else do you do when you're stressed right? On a curb outside a sports arena, I plopped down and peeled back my banana and tried to enjoy it. It was all brown. It got smushed by stuff in my bag. My banana!

Then I felt a tap on my shoulder: "James?!" It was my friend Sofi the Hungarian. She was lost, too. She sat down next to me and gave me a hug. I had the biggest smile, then pointed at my banana.

"I'd offer you some, but it's terrible." She reached in her bag and pulled out two bananas, one for each of us. I wasn't alone.

Just like Sofi, you're by my side because you've joined my Pilgrimage Support Team. I am deeply thankful that you are here and part of this mission with me, because when I think about my partners, it encourages me. I know that I am not alone. To learn more how to join my Support Team, or for other ways to contribute, fill out the form below. Thank you! (And thank you, Sofi!)

The Gift of Prayer

As always, I'm very grateful for your friendship and generosity towards my mission. I believe you are a collaborator in my ministry because of your support and encouragement.

My gift to you is always that of prayer. I pray for you and remember your intentions when asking St. John Paul II to intercede on your behalf. I will write your intentions in my World Youth Day journal that I bring with my to Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and personal prayer time. Please send me your prayer intentions, and they will be maintained with strict confidentiality and respect.

It's an honor to pray for you and I thank you for that. May God reward you!

Fill out the form below to submit your prayer intentions!

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