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Chaminade High School (NY) lacrosse players PJ Kaffl (far left, with blue backpack) and Regan Quinn (far right) at World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.
World Youth Day, which started July 20 and wrapped up on Tuesday, drew more than a million young Catholics to a pilgrimage of prayer and friendship with Pope Francis in Krakow, Poland.
Among those who attended were student-athletes from CHSAA schools Chaminade and Kellenberg on Long Island.
The day he departed for Poland, Regan Quinn, a rising senior attackman who led Chaminade’s varsity boys lacrosse team in scoring this past season, had verballed to Virginia after after decommitting from Fairfield, as reported last week by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
But for Quinn — and and classmate PJ Kaffl, also an attackman — their days in Poland may wind up being every bit as memorable as any they’ve spent — or will spend — on the lacrosse.
Now, here are Regan and PJ’s thoughts on the trip:
How many students from Catholic schools on Long Island attended World Youth Day?
We went with a group of 120 kids, which was made up of half Chaminade kids and the half was Kellenberg kids. There were also 20 moderators who accompanied us, they were teachers or brothers from each school.
What were some of the highlights of the trip?
Some highlights of the trip included visiting a salt mine, various beautiful churches and we toured around Auschwitz, which was very sad but interesting.
Two of the best highlights were the nightly chants at the statue, over 180 countries were represented at World Youth Day, and at night, everyone would chant for their country at this statue. It was crazy.
The other one is at the opening mass there were 1.5 million people were in attendance and when pope Francis was giving is homily there was absolute silence which was really powerful.
What was it like meeting kids from all over the world and what were some of the countries they were from?
It was really cool meeting kids from all around the world. We met kids from every where including Australia, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, and many more.
Not going to lie, my favorite kids were definitely the Australians.
Where did you stay while you were there and what was a typical day like?
We stayed at the Sheraton Grand Krackow which was a beautiful hotel. Our daily routine consisted of anytime before breakfast (varied everyday), you had the opportunity to go to work out or stay in and sleep. Then breakfast varied from the latest was 9 and the earliest was 7.
We would meet in a conference room in the hotel and discuss what we had planned for the day. After that we would usually have mass either at the hotel or a church that we were visiting for that day. Then after mass we would have an hour or so to go get lunch with our friends. We would all meet back at the hotel and go to whatever event or wherever we were visiting for the day.
When that was over as a group we would go get dinner, we went to some of the nicest restaurants in Poland. At night we would have some free time to either go chant at that statue, go to a concert or just to go get ice cream and hangout. Finally we would go back to the hotel shower and sleep.
You saw the Pope a few times – where did you see him and how close to him did you get?
Yes, we saw Pope Francis four times the first time was at the opening mass but we couldn’t really see him in a crowd of 1.5 million people. But all the other times he would drive on the street and we would be on the side walk 5 feet away from him which was awesome.
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