Pope It Up


Gissel Olivas, Reporter

Ever since I was in sixth grade I have been involved in a church group named the Neocatecumenal Way. Unlike other church groups, ours included couples, young people, single people, and any other kind of person you could think of. Which is what makes it so unique and special in my heart.


One of my favorite things about being a part of this group is getting to travel not only around the United States, but also around the country. In the years that I have been involved, I have had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC, Chicago, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York and various others for mission trips and meetings with members of the Neocatecumenal Way from around the whole country. We have also traveled to Spain, Paris, Denmark and most recently Pennsylvania to see the Pope. This summer of 2016 we will be traveling to Poland and staying for two weeks to participate in world Youth Day with the Pope as well.

Preparing for these trips overseas is a lot of work. Although the travel is cheap compared to making the trip by ourselves, we have to raise money to be able to go. With my experience in past trips, the best advice is to pack lightly. The goal is to only take one small suitcase and a backpack since we will be doing a lot of walking.

These trips are a humbling experience because some days we have to sleep in a gym floor and other days we don’t know if we will have a place to sleep at all. Some days we do not shower because we just don’t have anywhere to, but we learn that there are people who live like this every day of their lives so we should be grateful that we don’t.

On our trip to Pennsylvania, we were so close that we could almost touch the Pope. It was something that I will never forget. We waited from nine in the morning to nine at night standing there to see him pass by for a couple of seconds but his presence is so great that it was all worth it. One couple that traveled with us even has their baby kissed by the Pope himself and he was on the cover of The Wall Street Journal. There were thousands of people there and to think that the Pope chose one of our babies to kiss is unbelievable.





Experiences like these are only some of the many blessings God has given me through these trips and it is why I continue doing them. I am really excited to be on my way to Poland this summer in which we will also travel to places like Auschwitz, the concentration camp, and Italy.