A highlight for me was getting up at 6.30am and watching the sun come up over the mountain in Montserrat, hanging out of my window. I will never see anything like that again and it was the most incredible, exhilarating thing I’ve ever seen.
The highlight of the trip was when the tour bus took us around the corner to look at la Sagrada familia. Lilly and I simultaneously look at each other and were completely speechless and just looked on in awe. It is a moment I will never ever forget.
– Gabby G
It’s hard to list one highlight of the trip, as there were so many breathtaking moments. I think what mattered the most to me was being able to share all these moments with not only the friends we had made within our travel group, but the amazing people we met from other countries. I will never forget the people I met on this trip.
Something that i will never forget is the vigil in the church at Montserrat when the monks allowed us behind the altar to sit in the choir chairs. It was an awesome, humbling moment sitting right under the black Madonna looking around at the paintings on the wall, the gold pillars and the rest of the congregation.
As i think back it is almost impossible to pick the highlight of the trip but something I will never forget is looking at the sun rise over the mountains at Montserrat each morning before attending mass during the IBYC. The view was amazing and something I will probably never see again! I loved meeting many people from numerous countries and getting involved in the cultural night at IBYC.
My favorite part of the trip was Montserrat. It was a perfect balance between socializing with other countries and finding the deep meaning in the pilgrimage. The best moment was when the two were united in the Vigil in the Basilica. It was breathtaking being able to share faith and emotion with people of all different dialects and cultures in one silence that was life changing for everyone in the room.
For me there was no single defining highlight moment of the trip but rather the journey as a whole. My time in Montserrat however was a experience I will take with me wherever I go. The combination of spiritual finding within myself and sharing the experience with people from all over the world. The unity and new friendships I have made have brought a change in me that I’m forever grateful for.
Without a doubt the most incredible experience was Montserrat. Spending four days with three hundred awesome teenagers who are on fire for God from all around the world was the best experience of my life. Going on the long walk to the highest point in Montserrat was breathtaking, and the night Vigil in the Basilica with the Monks was indescribable. Every moment I had to convince myself that I WAS ACTUALLY staying in a near thousand year old monastery, living in an apartment surrounded by superb mountains, listening to the bells all night long, going to sleep to the sounds of the Chileans chanting and choirs singing, and playing free time football every day. Montserrat is my new favourite place in the world.
Although the whole trip has been absolutely breathtaking the architecture and culture of Barcelona was AMAZING! Seeing Gaudi’s famous La Sagrada Familia is an experience I will never forget. Montserrat provided me with memories to last a lifetime. The IBYC cultural night was something I will take with me forever – while each group was performing the pride was evident as they were able to teach us a little bit about their homelands and we were able to do the same. The vigil in the basilica at Montserrat is another experience I doubt I will ever forget, praying where St Ignatius prayed to the black Madonna was mind-blowing, not many people can say they were able to spend a night praying on the altar of the basilica with the monks of Montserrat Abby and then were able to wander around the basilica reflecting and exploring – truly a once in a lifetime experience.
No one moment I could call a favorite but for three weeks being around so many young people who shared the same faith had the same interests at heart was just incredible! It was amazing to see everyone bond so strongly, so quickly. People we met came from all over the world, every person had a different story, such a different life style but regardless of anyone’s background, faith brought us all together, and this feeling of belonging to such a large, incredible community is something we will never forget.
At Montserrat, the feeling when I stood on the edge of the mountain looking over the most spectacular view , wind in my hair… I have never felt more free, I truly thought at that moment that if I jumped I would be able to fly.
There is not just one moment in this trip that I could single out as my favorite… There have been so many and I just can’t choose. If I had to choose though I would have to pick Montserrat!! From the first moment upon our arrival I was shocked at just how gorgeous this mountain was… This place was amazing not only because of the scenery but also because of the reason we were there. IBYC was fantastic, words just can’t explain how good it was. I learnt so many amazing things and got to meet some of the most beautiful people. This is only one of my favorite parts from this incredible trip!!!!
I would just like to say that I have enjoyed every single part of this pilgrimage. In Barcelona I really enjoyed meeting everyone I would be staying with and I loved swimming at the beach. Every bit of Barcelona was beautiful. In Montserrat I really enjoyed meeting all the Benedictine schools from all around the world like Chile, Brazil and Canada. It was amazing, each part of it. Even the views. Madrid was an experience as I got really sick during the middle of Montserrat, so it wasn’t as fun, but all the girls tried so hard to make it fun. I really did enjoy being in the smelly gym with heaps of people, it was an awesome experience but I was really happy and sad at the same time when we moved into the hotels, happy because we were getting beds and showers and sad because we wouldn’t see everyone again. I really enjoyed the Father Robert Galea concert and the talks about chastity and the theology of the body. All together I have become a better person due to all the wonderful girls I have been on pilgrimage with. I love them all and it has been the best weeks of my life.
For me, the trip does not end here… It is such a significant experience that its effects are bigger than just memories. A highlight though is the friendships I have made with the girls during our time together. You cannot properly know a person until you have travelled with them, so it’s a great way to meet people! As well as the Good Sam girls I’ve also had fun meeting the other pilgrims and locals we came across. My socializing skills have definitely improved and I feel that I’ve made a massive turn-around from being very stranger shy and anxious to actually wanting to take on the world and make more life-long friendships! Thanks to the girls and the amazing group of teachers and Sr Meg and Monica who made this once in a lifetime opportunity possible!
Lots of love, Rosie.
There is no way I can choose a best memory or even single out only one highlight of IBYC and WYD 2011 in Spain. I have definitely spent the most amazing weeks in a gorgeous country with beautiful people. The spectacular view and breathtaking walks in Montserrat, the pegging of and trading of flags with strangers at any time in any place, the golden sand and clear water at the beach in Barcelona, the hours shopping and admiring the ‘baguettes’, the tour of la Sagrada Familia, the many Metro stations and large crowds in Madrid as well as the sunny nights and late meals all over, are just some of the things that come to mind as I reflect on my recent time overseas. I laughed countless times, became closer to God, discovered the struggles associated with being a pilgrim, strengthened my faith, learnt about different cultures, met so many new people from all over the world and have gotten to know a great group of young Australian girls. I have had an unforgettable trip and I will treasure this experience always. Thanks to all the teachers and Good Sams students who made this dream of mine come true. Can’t wait for our next adventure together.
Love always, Grace xoxoxoxoxo
There is not one particular highlight that has made this pilgrimage to WYD 2011 wonderful. As a group we have experienced so many exciting things in the past few weeks like waking up on the gorgeous Montserrat Mountain with beautiful sunrises every morning, visiting the spectacular la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and meeting so many different people from across the world just to name a few. The one thing I will take away out of this journey is learning that although we come from different cultures across the world we can all unite to celebrate God. I also have made many friendships along the way. The girls that I have shared the experience with are extraordinary people and have made this pilgrimage very special, I look forward to catching up with them again.
All my love, Lilly.
This has been an absolutely amazing trip! I think that my highlight would definitely have to be Monserrat though. Meeting people from all over the world who shared the same Benedictine values and traditions was so much fun! They were all absolutely beautiful and so friendly, it was hard not to get along with them all. Not only did we meet many people, we also connected with our own Aussie group and more importantly, God. Each morning started off with a short mass, breakfast, then morning prayer. We then went off to our various activities or work shops and then would have dinner and night prayer each evening. It was great to be reconnecting spiritually with God and to be able to share it with each other and all our new friends was even better. It felt really nice to know that everyone was there for all the same reasons. When we were there though, there was something that struck me deeper about Monserrat: it’s location. Right on the top of an amazingly high mountain sits this little village. Looking out from the walkway on the way to and from the hall, you feel like you can see the whole world! No picture or image can do justice the sight you see from this place. I think I loved everything about Monserrat, including the spiritual atmosphere. I loved meeting all these people, they personally made my trip what it was. But whether in Barcelona, Monserrat or Madrid, this trip has been the most amazing experience of my life. I feel so lucky and blessed to have been a part of this pilgrimage, along with all the other beautiful girls. The memories and friendships I’ve made will stay with me forever, I’ll never forget it as long as I live.