World Youth Day Diary: Days in Ciudad Real

Pictures from each day of the pilgrimage are available here

Tuesday 9 August

Liverpool's young pilgrims flew out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport to begin their World Youth Day adventures in Madrid.
After arriving in the Spanish capital they settled into their hotel and took a look around the city.

Wednesday 10 August

The group had their picture taken outside the hotel prior to celebrating morning prayer.
Later in the day they went to the Cathedral Church of Santa María la Real de La Almudena in Madrid where they celebrated Mass in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
After Mass there was a tour of Madrid taking in the Plaza Mayor.

Thursday 11 August

After breakfast in Plaza Espana the group have been in the Diocese of Ciudad Real.
Lunchtime brough a visit to a local Convent and later in the afternoon the group celebrated Evening Prayer before an open air sing song.

Friday 12 August

The morning celebration of Morning Prayer took place in the Carmelite Monasteryand afterwards the group met the Sisters before singing for them.  As they left the Sisters gave each of the pilgrims a gift of a bag of offcuts from the altar breads that they make.
The Carmelite visit was followed by Mass at a local church celebrated with Canadian and Venezuelan World Youth Day pilgrims who are also staying in Ciudad Real.

Saturday 13 August

We were welcomed by the Bishop of Ciudad Real, Bishop Antonio Hernando, with young people from, Italy, Canada and Venezuela. We were privileged to be given a guided tour of the Diocesan Seminary which has students from the age of 12 to 24. In the evening we shared a prayer vigil with young people and parishioners from the city. I t was a wonderful way to share our faith and to reflect on the week we had with our new families.

Sunday 14 August

Today we celebrated Mass with 10,000 other pilgrims in the Diocese at Campo de Criptana, an hour and a half away from Ciudad Real. It was a beautiful setting on a hilltop with historic windmills over looking the stunning countryside. The evening was finished with fireworks and a concert.

Monday 15 August

We all felt sad today as we said goodbye to our families in Ciudad Real and Father Stephen gave gifts to the parish priest; Don Adriano from the young people in the Liverpool group. We hope to see young people from Ciudad Real in Liverpool next year!
When we arrived in Madrid we gathered for Mass near the Cathedral before the major events of World Youth Day begin!