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Benet Academy students attend World Youth Day

Twenty-five Benet Academy students and chaperones traveled to Lisbon, Portugal from July 29–August 7, 2023 to celebrate World Youth Day. World Youth Day (WYD) is a worldwide encounter with the Pope celebrated about every three years in a different country. WYD is open to all young people who want to take part in a festive encounter centered on Jesus Christ together with their peers. It allows students a unique way to deepen their faith and grow closer to Christ, through prayer and the sacraments, together with hundreds of thousands of other young people from around the world who share the same interests and ambitions.

Benet students gathered together with over 1.6 million young people and spent their days attending mass, in adoration, discussing topics relevant to the church today, touring and experiencing the local sights and culture of Portugal, visiting the Marian apparition shrine in Fatima, as well experiencing the universality of Catholic Church by singing, dancing, and meeting other youth from around the world.  The culmination of the event was the Missioning Mass with Pope Francis where he encouraged the students to “to shine, to listen and to be unafraid.”

Sophomore Victoria Kluzak commented, "I really loved WYD because it was an opportunity for me to connect and see the other young people of the catholic church. Seeing the youth of the church was important to me because it allowed me to feel more of a community and belonging in my church and faith. WYD was a ton of fun and I would recommend it to any other young people!"

Deacon Christopher Weiland, Benet Academy Campus Ministry Director, who accompanied the students on the trip said, "The primary message from Pope Francis at World Youth Day is that the youth of the world matter in the Catholic Church. That they are not the 'future' of the Church, but that they are the Church of 'today.'  It is our responsibility here at Benet Academy to make sure that this message is clear to our students. That the students feel properly prepared both intellectually and spiritually in the Catholic faith, to have the confidence to speak for the Church, and that they feel empowered to lead the Church forward in faith and service as the hands of Christ out into a world that will challenge them in their every attempt to spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Benet Academy, founded in 1887 and located in Lisle, IL, is an independent Catholic, college preparatory high school in the Benedictine tradition. Benet’s mission is to provide a disciplined educational environment that fosters the on-going religious, intellectual and social development of its students.

Benet Academy students at WYD 2023