More than 100,000 young people took part in the 22nd pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Teresa of the Andes in Chile on Oct. 20, with most of them hiking the nearly 17-mile trail to the shrine on foot.
Catholic youths should feel “proud of being Christians” and be “people of open hearts,” Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago, Chile told pilgrims during the closing Mass at the shrine.
In his homily, the archbishop encouraged those present to live out their faith in community, especially during the Youth Mission, a year-long outreach project meant to enliven young Catholics in Latin America.
“That is the only way to conserve it and strengthen it,” Archbishop Ezzati said.
Father Francisco Lorca, who leads a ministry called Young Hope, said he was moved and filled with joy by the pilgrimage.
“This is a sign that young people are with Christ and with the Church,” he said. “They have faith and they are the future.”
Young people who made the pilgrimage cited a variety of intentions for making the trek, such as good grades, healing for a sick parent, to show their faith and for the future of Chile.