Director, Youth and Young Adult Ministry
By John Amoratis, Director, Youth and Young Adult Ministry

A few years ago I watched a movie called Bruce Almighty 2 with some relatives. It was not the greatest movie ever, but it gave us all some laughs. It is a modern day retelling of Noah’s Ark, only this time Noah is a modern day business man whose family and fellow citizens think he is crazy for building an Ark. Even as everyone in his city sees pairs of animals coming to his ark, many of them still doubt him. I will not spoil the plot for those who have not yet seen it, but I will go so far as to say that by the end of the movie, the evidence in favor of building his ark becomes absolutely overwhelming. As the closing credits rolled, one of my relatives said something which has fascinated me to this very day. He said, “That was a little far fetched. How could people see all those animals coming to the Ark and yet still not believe he was telling the truth?”
This statement makes me think of World Youth Day. Are there any doubters reading these words? If so, then the question might be asked: which is more amazing? Some animals coming to a town to get on a boat… or millions of young people going to Madrid to see the pope? Getting animals to show up somewhere is easy. They do not even have the capacity to reason. But today’s youth and young adults? They have computers. They have never known a time when there was not space flight. Man landing on the moon was decades old news by the time these kids were born. The youth of today, certainly from America, and also from many other countries, are allegedly jaded by overwrought scientific rationalism, blinded by secularism in schools, and swayed by pop culture singers and anti-heroes. Even so… Modern 21st century youth by the millions congregate around a man known as the Vicar of Christ on earth, the representative of God and the Church. This is a much greater miracle than some llamas and lions walking to a town to get on a wooden boat.
In light of all this, World Youth Day is a place of miracles, a modern day event of grace where every nation’s youth gather around the Holy Father. It is an astounding miracle that this happens every few years. In the mean time, just like those people in Bruce Almighty’s town did not acknowledge the miracle in their midst, many of the people in the world do not even pay attention to the pope, or to World Youth Day. They either do not know, or do not care to know. But we know, and we see God working in this wonderful event.
Parents, this year’s World Youth Day is already upon us, but if your youth has not yet attended a World Youth Day, remember that the next one will be along in a few years. Sign them up for it. Yes, there will be fundraising and hard work, but if you work hard and remain committed, there is no reason to think that it all will not work out in the end. Then, on that special day, the plane lifts off from the runway, and your child will realize: my goodness, I’m beginning a pilgrimage to see the Vicar of Christ. Adventure, and gratitude, will follow.