By Tanya Connor
The Catholic Free Press
A diocesan Facebook page was a link between pilgrims to World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, and those back at home. Bishop McManus shared a couple scenes from his time at World Youth Day on the Worcester Diocese’s papal Facebook page, www.facebook.com/woopope.
Accompanying the photo posted Aug. 2 was this description: “This was the view with which I was blessed, from the staging for the Holy Father and the bishops: a sea of people, with a Holy Door for the Jubilee Year of Mercy erected at the center of the area. A fitting ending to a truly memorable week which all in attendance will remember.”
Accompanying a photo posted July 29 was this message from the bishop: “Preparing to offer my second day of catechesis at this 14th century Church of the Holy Trinity which is up in the mountains. A beautiful setting!”
Local pilgrims were unsuccessful in finding out where Bishop McManus was offering the catechesis in time to attend, said Elizabeth Cotrupi, director of the Worcester Diocese’s youth ministry office, New Evangelization Worcester for Youth & Young Adults. They did see him at a program hosted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and had their photo taken with him, she said. That photo was published online and in last week’s edition of The Catholic Free Press.
Mrs. Cotrupi was with six people from Our Lady Immaculate Parish in Athol and 14 people from St. Patrick Parish in Whitinsville. They went to Poland July 22. She and the Athol parishioners returned Monday, while those from Whitinsville were staying on with their pastor, Father Tomasz J. Borkowski, who is from Poland.
This Worcester contingent was part of a 360-person group run by the Boston Archdiocese, Mrs. Cotrupi said. It included Cardinal Seán O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, and members of the Fall River and Norwich dioceses. They attended World Youth Day events and also visited significant historical sites.
Cardinal O’Malley celebrated Masses for their group, Father Borkowski concelebrated, and often other English-speaking bishops and pilgrims joined them, she said.
There were other pilgrims from the Worcester Diocese, but in the sea of people, they did not meet, Mrs. Cotrupi said.
Father Richard Polek, pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish, was taking 42 people from the parish and St. Mary’s Schools to Poland July 19-Aug. 5. He, too, is from Poland.
Assumptionist Father Ronald Sibugan, an Assumption College campus minister, and two men discerning vocations with his congregation left June 27 to meet with others in formation in the Assumption family and go to Rome, Florence, Nimes, Toulouse, Paris and Brussells, as well as World Youth Day in Poland.