About 60 World Youth Day pilgrims gathered July 6 at the historic St. Albert grotto to celebrate a commissioning Mass with Archbishop Richard Smith. In his homily, the Archbishop told them that World Youth Day is typically preceded by much negative and derogatory media coverage. But each time, when journalists and residents witness the joy of the pilgrims, both are transformed forever. He urged the pilgrims to be authentic witnesses to the joy of life in Christ.

Before the Mass, the group enjoyed an afternoon retreat that focused on the legacy of the Oblate Fathers who played such a big role in evangelizing the West.

The 28th World Youth Day celebrations will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 23-28,