Bishop Barry C. Knestout will join the diocesan delegation, led by the Office for Evangelization, for a pilgrimage to Fátima ahead of World Youth Day. In Lisbon, he has a schedule set for the bishops in attendance.
Bishop Knestout sat down with The Catholic Virginian to share his thoughts as he prepares for the fruits of this worldwide gathering:
This will be my second time attending World Youth Day – my first as a bishop. The last time I went to World Youth Day, I was head of the Office of Youth Ministry in the Archdiocese of Washington. I was coordinating the trip for youth ministry and helping lead a pilgrimage group.
This time will be different. As a bishop, I will be accompanying and encouraging the young people of the diocese by my presence there.
I look forward to visiting the Marian shrine to Our Lady of Fátima – to have that as an added component to this World Youth Day is a blessing. We, as a Church, have a great devotion to Our Lady. Whenever we draw close to her, she always leads us to a deeper relationship with her Son.
I think it’s important and appropriate that the Church highlight and celebrate the gifts of young people. I very much want to be a part of this opportunity to support young people in celebrating their faith as they join with the Holy Father in Lisbon, Portugal.
It’s also very important to encourage young people to follow the path of discipleship. Many of the young people who will be at World Youth Day are at a significant point in their lives when they are being formed in the faith. They are also making decisions about how they will live their lives and vocations. I’m grateful for the chance to be with them during that time.
I hope and pray that young people will discover a deepening of faith, or even a sparking of faith, during World Youth Day – if they haven’t experienced it before – so that they might draw closer to the Lord and find the fullness of life that he really wants to give to us.
Part of World Youth Day is to help young people find that path, to celebrate their role in the Church, and to strengthen them in the faith.
Check out Bishop Barry C. Knestout’s video messages about: