World Youth Day: Inspiring Generations

10/05/2013 2:14 pm

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Two years ago more than 4,000 young people left Britain and headed to Madrid for World Youth Day.

Many felt their lives were transformed by the experience, including three pilgrims, Jo-Anne Rowney, Paula Mendez and James Kelliher. The three got together testimonies from people they met at the event, which have been released as a book, ‘World Youth Day: Inspiring Generations’.

The book aims to encourage people to sign up for World Youth Day in Rio this July as well as dispel the myth that young people are not interested in their faith. It also aims to show that World Youth Day is a powerful and formative experience.

Paula Mendez said:

"During World Youth Day we spent a lot of time talking to each other about our life experiences and the Church, some of these experiences were very moving – that is when we realised that we could get something together which could be put at the service of the Church."

Jo-Anne Rowney, 25, said:

"Madrid was the first time I’d been to World Youth Day. It was a great experience that I really wanted to share with other people my age. We realised that often young people don’t know where to look to get more involved so it was important we gave them a nudge in the right direction. But, while there are lots of things to do at home, World Youth Day is really the best place to start and the book shows that."

‘World Youth Day: Inspiring Generations’ includes 21 pilgrim testimonies with a piece by ITV newsreader Julie Etchingham, Paschal Uche who welcomed Pope Benedict on the steps of Westminster Cathedral during his visit, and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales photographer Marcin Mazur.

The book also includes a foreword by Archbishop Vincent Nichols, a history of WYD, speeches given by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI at WYD Madrid, and a resources section with suggestions for further reading and ways to get involved in your faith – including CYMFED.


A shortened version has been released by the CTS. An eBook version is available for download on Amazon or Kindle with extra articles, advice and a pilgrim guide at: