Inmaculada Pérez Castillo, OMI y Leidy Silva Tercero
Inmaculada participated in WYD with the Oblate Youth in Madrid and Lisbon. Now she shares with us her unforgettable experience.
“Young People, Do Not Be Afraid!”
We concluded World Youth Day in Lisbon. The encounter we had beforehand in Pozuelo was lived with great joy because we were able to feel the spirit of the OMI Family alongside the Martyrs, other young people from around the globe, and our Superior General, Fr. Chicho. I am convinced that it was a moment of grace for everyone.
God Loves Us as We Are
Personally, it was a sign that the message to Fr. Chicho to the young people and the Pope’s message are united with that of the martyrs: the love of God always wins, do not be afraid to be a missionary witness of hope. During these days, I could also feel the communion and catholicity of the entire Church. Numerous young people gathered to hear Pope Francis remind us that Christ loves each one of us. He invited us to become aware of how God looks at us and that he loves us just as we are. Pope Francis especially reminded us not to be afraid but to trust in God and to get up with the courage of Mary.
Help Others Get Up
A particularly moving moment for me was when I saw so many young people from all over the globe kneeling before the blessed sacrament in utter silence. They felt God looking at them, and God was indeed looking at us with tenderness. At that moment, we let ourselves be lifted up by Christ, we helped others be lifted up, and we brought the joy of the gospel to everyone. I thank God for the opportunity to share the faith and charism with young people, with our Oblate brothers, the Oblatas, and the COMI. May Mary Immaculate, Saint Eugene, and the young martyrs continue to intercede for all young people.
The Testimony of Leidy, a young woman from the parish of San Juan Diego
On The Road
If I were to summarize my experience of world youth day in one sentence, it would be with the following words: “on the road.” From the very beginning of this adventure, which started in Pozuelo and ended with the Commissioning Mass in Campo de Gracia Lisbon, I have seen the parable of the good Samaritan become flesh. On the one hand, I witnessed concrete faces and names that needed that happiness which can only be satisfied by God. On the other hand, there was a willingness of more than 1 million young people from different countries to help each other and themselves to get closer to this joy.
Get up and carry on
Along the same lines as the parable of the good Samaritan, as we walk through life, we open ourselves to encounter adversities, persons, and the occasional bump in the road. However, in the face of these scenarios that life puts before us, we must ask ourselves what the Pope said at the vigil: “Do we fall and remain defeated, or do we keep trying?” The unanimous response of more than 1 million people, along with mine, was that we get up and we keep going!
God is with us
To get up and continue transmitting the gospel and most importantly transmitting the joy and happiness that one moment or another, was transmitted to us by a face and concrete name. The Pope’s words became my own. I want to get up and transmit that joy so that others can say “God is good!”, and “God loves us!”, and “God calls us!” because we are not what we are by chance. We have a purpose in God‘s plan and we do not have to be afraid because in this journey God is with us
Inmaculada Perez Castillo, a native of Malaga, since 2001 is a member of the Congregation of Missionary Oblatas. She collaborates with the mission with the Youth.