In preparation for the official opening of the World Youth Day with Pope Francis in Krakow, Poland, young people from our Carmelite communities around the world gathered in the beautiful garden of our Carmelite community in the centre of the city on the 27th July. In all, around 350 took part in this special Carmelite gathering of young people, hosted by the Prior Provincial, Fr. Bogdan Meger, the Prior of Krakow, Fr. Zbigniew Czerwien, the main organizer Fr. Marcin Siemek, members of the Krakow community and a wonderful team of young people. Among those present were Carmelite young people from Malta, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Portugal, USA, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela and the largest group present were from the Italian Province with fifty-five young people. Most of the groups were led by Carmelite friars who were accompanying them to the World Youth Day.
As part of the day’s programme, the Prior General, Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral presented his letter entitled “Young Carmelites: sowers of mercy” for reflection and discussion. He also presided at the Eucharist in our Basilica with a liturgical celebration of two Carmelite martyrs, Blessed Titus Brandma and Blessed Hilary Januszewski. Short presentations were also given by Fr. John Keating, Councillor General for Europe and by the Polish Provincial. The day afforded the young people an opportunity to meet and to get to know each other and to build up Carmelite contacts. Each provincial group presented the youth ministry of their respective provinces and ended this by entertaining all those present with song and dance. Gratitude must be extended to the Provincial and members of the Polish Province for the work they put into the organization and hospitality of the Carmelite Youth Day 2016. Until Panama in 2019, thanks to everyone who helped plan the event and especially to all our young Carmelites from around the world