The Krakow volunteers and staff have publicized the contents of the "pilgrim kits” to be given out in July to youth from all over the world.
Each young person will receive one of three backpacks, blue, red or yellow, complete with a white design of the WYD logo and various materials inside. There is a colored poncho, a microfiber scarf reading "Amazing Poland,” a multi-purpose handkerchief and a rosary bracelet which says, "Jesus, I trust in you.” There are also books to help the pilgrims follow along with the Pope during the week: the Pilgrim Guide, Pilgrim's Guide Around Krakow and a prayer book called, "Jesus, I Trust in You. An Extraordinary Book on Divine Mercy.”
On the first Sunday of June, friends of the John Paul II Foundation meet in a banquet hall of Princess Manor in Greenpoint to honor a priest who helps Foundation and works for the Polish community. This year, Rev. Józef Szpilski, priest of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Greenpoint and Chaplain of the John Paul II Foundation New York Chapter was honored. The occasion was superior as Rev. Józef Szpilski celebrates this year the 60th anniversary of the priesthood.
Rev. Józef Szpilski was ordained in June 1956 by Bishop Stanisław Rospond in Kraków. Rev. Józef Szpilski belongs to the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Vincent de Paul. He came to the United States in 1964 and was directed to study English in Washington. In years 1965-1972, Rev. Szpilski provided missionary service in the Central and Eastern states of US. Since 1972, for ten years, He was the Pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Greenpoint and over sought the parish school. Throughout the next years, He was serving at the parishes in Whitestone (NY), Ansonia (CT), Derby (CT). In 2009, Rev. Szpilski returned to Greenpoint to the St. Stanislaus Kostka Church. He is the author of many religious articles which were published in “Polish-American Journal”, “Głos”, “Nowy Dziennik”, and “Polonia”. Since 2015, Rev. Szpilski is active in the board of the Polish & Slavic Center (CP-S).
World Youth Day, as teenagers have come to know it, was created by Saint John Paul II in 1984 after the Jubilee of Young People in Rome. Since this time, gatherings of youth have united to learn, pray and grow through one common outlet: music.
Each World Youth Day is characterized by an official anthem, highlighting the overall message of that year's encounter. For the 2016 meeting in Krakow, mercy will be spread to all attending youth through the song, "Blessed are the Merciful.”
We had an hour of Adoration during which part of John Paul Encyclical on the mercy of God (Chapter 12-17) was read, a reading from John (Chapter 8) and a prayer of blessing for all families. In the encyclical chapters of John Paul, God in his mercy is there waiting for us to have recourse to him in every need. He invites us to study his mystery, the mystery of the Father and his love and through his spirit, Christ can work within human hearts and through the Holy Spirit we become open to his love.
In the reading of John (Chapter 8) Jesus says He can do nothing only what the Father has taught him. All the Father teaches is truth and the truth will set us free.
The prayer of blessing for all families (Ephesians 3)
O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ grant onto all families according to the riches of thy glory, that we may be strengthened with might by thy Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith; that we may be rooted and grounded in love, and be able to comprehend with all the Saints the great love in Christ Jesus our lord.