After a one-year hiatus, Center City Philadelphia was fully alive with the sight of smiles and friendliness of high school, seminarians, and even college students from Philly’s Youth Mission Chapter. Due to the pandemic last year, the Holy Week outreach went virtual. While it was good to improvise, many felt that there was a component missing. That would soon be found through an eventful Good Friday.
About 150 youth took the city by storm during Holy Week. For Good Friday, the day in Center City Philadelphia began with a one-hour prayer vigil outside of Planned Parenthood. Even the police officers were thrilled to see the youth take time out of their Easter break to bring the faith and light of Christ to those on the margins.
After a one-hour vigil, which included testimonies, rosary, and Divine Mercy Chaplet, the youth broke off around the city to collect intentions for the 3PM Service at the Basilica. Some of the passerbyers took time to admire the youth’s courage and tenacity to show kindness to others.
The pivotal part of the day for the large group was the Living Stations that took place from St. Patrick’s Church in Rittenhouse Square through town to the Basilica. As I was walking in the procession, I took time to survey how everyone stopped and watched everything unfold before them as they were reminded of what Good Friday let alone Easter was all about. Despite some occasional head shaking and maybe some uncharitable taunts, the people continue onward. The most moving part was the parkway was used to signify the lord’s journey to Calvary as I was taking in the background of City Hall and the large crowd following Jesus.
These young people bring hope to a city that is in need of it. Philadelphia has 12,000-13,000 abortions annually. That is extremely more devastating than the 500 homicides that happen in our city. Even a high poverty rate was needed to be shown by many. The youth even came out of their comfort zones to fulfill works of mercy to all around them.
These young people remind us why life from womb to tomb is precious and is worthy of protection. Even Jesus, portrayed by Jack Terzian, remembered every child of his that was going to be victimized by such atrocious acts while also asking his father to forgive his perpetrator.
If you are in the Philly area and interested in getting involved with Mission Youth Philly, please visit their website here.