More than two dozen members of the University of Dallas community have arrived in Europe in advance of World Youth Day, an annual youth event of the Roman Catholic Church held this year in Lisbon, Portugal.
Campus deacon Ryan Sales, former campus chaplain Fr. Joseph Paul Albin, OP, campus outreach minister Shelby Ponikiewski, BA ’15, and 22 students and recent alumni are making a World Youth Day pilgrimage.
The University of Dallas Campus Ministry group, made up of Sales, Fr. Joseph and Ponikiewski, arrived in Madrid on Wednesday. Students and young alumni met them in Spain on Thursday and started a small Dominican pilgrimage to explore the birthplace of St. Dominic and other major sites.
The group visited Fatima today.
The University of Dallas group is joined by four Vietnamese Dominican Sisters from the Mary Immaculate Province in Houston, Texas.
The United States is set to have its fifth largest delegation at World Youth Day this year with University Chancellor and Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas Edward J. Burns also serving as the episcopal liaison for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“As your shepherd, I must tell you … all of you from this diocese truly make me proud with the wonderful representation of youth and young adults who are going to Lisbon to celebrate this World Youth Day,” Bishop Burns said.
“Be assured of my prayers for your safe journey. I pray that the Lord will send forth His holy angels to watch over you in your journey, but also that it will be such a fulfilling opportunity to encounter Our Lord Jesus Christ in a very special way.”