A local youth from Fruitvale, Sky Gaeul Shin, is heading to the Czech Republic later this month to join young people from around the world.
World Youth Day is an international event for Catholic youth, organized by the Catholic Church. This youth festival will be held from July 25 to 31 and it will be located in the southern Polish city, Krakow, this year.
Sky decided to engage in World Youth Day, when one of the coordinators from St. Rita, Fruitvale, encouraged her to participate in this international event.
“I was amazed by the scale of World Youth Day event at first, said Shin.
The World Youth Day is expected to bring two million people from 187 countries and they will be accompanied by 47cardinals, 800 bishops and 20,000 priests.
In order to pay for the trip, Sky fundraised for over a year in three Catholic churches in the Greater Trail area.
“I was able to collect over $1,200 from collecting bottles every Sunday,” said Shin.
Additional to the bottle drives, she received overwhelming financial support from local Catholic groups such as Knight ofColumbus, Ladies of St. Rita, and Catholic Women’s League from Holy Trinity Parish. She shares how greatly appreciative she is for the support from the local community.
During the World Youth Day, Sky will be participate in catechetical sessions, walking pilgrimage, and on the last day of the event, she will be able to attend holy mass, which will be celebrated by the Pope Francis.
After the week of faithful pilgrimage, Sky’s World Youth Day group, based in Nelson Diocese in Kelowna, will continue their journey in Rome, Italy. As Sky is the only West Kootenay participant in her group, she is excited to share beautiful sites inWest Kootenay with international participants.
The immigrant from South Korea shares the importance of religion to her family and what it means to participate in this international Catholic event.
Sky’s family moved from South Korea to Canada eight years ago.
When the family of five had difficult time settling in the new environment during first few years in Canada.
“We survived those years keeping our faith in the religion.”
Overall, Sky is thrilled to meet young Catholics like herself from all around the world and to be part of this historical event.She also adds that she will keep her gratitude for the support of the local community in her mind during her week of pilgrimage.
The 2014 J.L. Crowe graduate is continuing her study in University of British Columbia by taking courses for her major,Political Science and International Relation.