The first phase of the preparation for this WYD was initiated by the young people through monthly formation meetings. Subsequently, towards the end of last month, they gathered at the Salesian house in Szczyrk from all over the country for a four-day retreat.
As soon as they arrived, each participant received a themed t-shirt and a songbook, the most important object of which was the Polish version of the WYD 2023’s anthem.
The retreat time for the animators was above all a moment of reflection and prayer; but this did not rule out recreational and community moments, mountain walks, and friendly interaction with board games in the evening.
Each day began with a morning prayer, which made it possible to experience the presence of God from the very beginning of the activities. Furthermore, the program, intense in its contents, shared a huge quantity of information that may be or become the subject of further reflections in the continuation of their formative journey.
The talks and reflections touched on many different themes. Starting from the most difficult ones - concerning the kerygma, morals, the experience of the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, practical advice on how to pray listen and meditate on the Word of God, how to give testimony, and conduct meetings or animate a group.
The daily moment dedicated to meditating on the Bible was very fruitful as were times of silence and isolation. Then there were the meetings in small groups to share their thoughts, to talk about what touched the participants most, to share a certain biblical passage and what God was able to transmit to each one through it.
An interesting point of the program was the creation of several promotional videos of the initiative and interviews with some animators.
The day ended as it began: with God. The participants had the opportunity to adore the Blessed Sacrament, dialogue with the Lord and approach the sacrament of Reconciliation.
The young people left Szczyrk joyful, full of new experiences and acquaintances, and made new friendships that will develop along with the subsequent stages of preparation for WYD in Lisbon.