The youth group at Divine Saviour Catholic Church in York is hard at work organizing a yard sale to raise funds for their upcoming trip to Rio de Janeiro, where they hope to see Pope Francis.
Five teens will head to Brazil in late July to attend World Youth Day. Lena Patrick, 18, Paola Rodriquez, 16, Rebecca Robinson, 16, Kelsey Hines, 15, and Gavin Garrison, 15, have been looking forward to the trip for the past year and a half.
Last fall the trip plans and group members were made official.
“We were surprised and excited when we found out we’d actually be able to go,” said Robinson, who is “beyond excited” and “looking forward to everything.”
According to World Youth Day’s website, pilgrims will participate in “spiritual activities, works of solidarity, and missionary and cultural events” as well as “shows, music, prayer and reconciliation opportunities.”
Garrison anticipates “lots of music and events” and the opportunity to “see a bunch of cities” in Brazil.
Pope Francis will be in attendance, presiding over a prayer service and an evening vigil and announcing the location of the next World Youth Day.
“It’s exciting because he’s new and most people don’t even get to see the pope at all,” said Hines.
People from many countries will be in Brazil for World Youth Day. Rodriquez looks forward to the opportunity to “celebrate Jesus with kids from all over the world.”
“It’ll be good to see all the other kids with the same ideas,” said Hines.
The teens have been busy preparing for their fundraiser all week.
The yard sale will be held on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be followed by a church choir concert at 7 p.m.
The teens are hoping for a large turnout, so that they can reach their fundraising goals before the trip. Whatever money they are unable to raise will be paid out of pocket.
This is one of many fundraisers they have put on to raise money for their pilgrimage. In April, the youth group hosted a chef competition to raise money for the trip.
So far, the community has been very giving. “We’ve gotten donations from a bunch of people in and outside of the church,” said Hines.
The teens are grateful for the help and the opportunity to make their pilgrimage. “It’s going to be a life-changing event,” said Garrison.
Want to go?