Pilgrimage To World Youth Day Will Be A Dream Come True For Orlando Man

Corey Brookfield has always dreamed of traveling overseas to serve God. After assisting his parish, St. Andrew’s in Orlando, first as an altar server and now in the hospitality ministry, he said he longed to grow in faith and serve the church abroad. However, the dream seemed out of the 24-year-old construction worker’s reach. That is until an anonymous donor, who had noticed Brookfield’s deep faith and unwavering service, offered him a paid sponsorship to the 2013 World Youth Day (WYD) July 23-28, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Trip Made Possible Through Generous Sponsorship From Anonymous Donor

Corey Brookfield has always dreamed of traveling overseas to serve God. After assisting his parish, St. Andrew’s in Orlando, first as an altar server and now in the hospitality ministry, he said he longed to grow in faith and serve the church abroad. However, the dream seemed out of the 24-year-old construction worker’s reach. That is until an anonymous donor, who had noticed Brookfield’s deep faith and unwavering service, offered him a paid sponsorship to the 2013 World Youth Day (WYD) July 23-28, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Brookfield said receiving the gift is nothing short of “amazing.”

“It took me by surprise,” he said, his overwhelming excitement and appreciation clearly evident as his talked about the opportunity. “My whole life I have wanted to take part in a mission or pilgrimage. It has been on my list of things to do for a long time. I did not see how it would ever happen, and now it has. I want to thank the donor. Receiving this gift reminds me that our parish and the church is so much more than a place to grow in faith. It is family as well.”

The donor said she prayerfully decided to make the gift because of the blessings she received through her own WYD experiences. 

“My first WYD experience transformed me in my young adult years and affirmed me in my Catholic faith, and I want to pass along that life-changing experience,” she said. “I could not have imagined the scope of what the experience would mean for me before I experienced it. Some things you just can’t explain. I am excited to know that Corey will experience his faith even more fully and will undoubtedly share his faith even more as a result.”

Brookfield said he hopes to deepen his relationship with God, to learn more about his faith and share his experiences of the pilgrimage. He would ultimately like to pay his gift forward by sponsoring another young adult.

The donor said she selected Brookfield not only because of his involvement within the parish, but more importantly because of his passion and commitment to the Catholic faith.

“Corey is a very dedicated young man,” said Father Joseph Bellerive, parochial administrator. “He is always available to lend a hand whenever he is needed. He is most deserving of this gift.”

“World Youth Day is not merely an event, a ‘trip’, and end in itself. It is a pilgrimage,” the donor said. “The end point is not the gathering; the gathering is just the beginning.  WYD is ‘food for the journey’ of life – it nourishes us as we share ‘daily bread’ with our fellow travelers.  It gives us strength to carry on our faith journey, the peace of knowing we do not travel alone, and the knowledge that we journey towards something bigger than ourselves or the world we live in.”

“I don’t know what Corey’s experience will be in Rio 2013, only that he will encounter Christ in a new way, in a way that will speak specifically to him, and that he will share the gifts he has been given in new and miraculous ways. My hope for him is simply that he is open to the Holy Spirit and all that will happen there.  In short, I hope that he attends ready to expect the unexpected.”

Diocese of Orlando World Youth Day Pilgrimage to Rio set for July 23-28, 2013

Deemed by many as a journey of a lifetime, World Youth Day (WYD) is a gathering of youth and young adults from around the world who come together to connect and grow deeper in faith. The first WYD was held in 1986 in Rome, with the 2013 WYD being held July 23-28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Diocese of Orlando pilgrimage to World Youth Day will be an opportunity for young adults (ages 18 to 39) to experience the universality of the Church and to share with the whole world a love of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, which was instituted by Jesus Christ.  

The Diocese of Orlando hopes to bring a group of 45 pilgrims to the 2013 WYD.  To date, 25 spots remain and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Spaces can only be held with an official registration and deposit. Most participants rely on the financial support of fundraisers, family and friends, as well as fellow parishioners to help cover the estimated $4,500 cost of the trip. To learn more or to register, visit the World Youth Day pilgrimage website or contact Amanda Livermore at alivermore@orlandodiocese.org (407)246-4863.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: September 15, 2012. All registrations and deposits must be submitted by this date to be able to participate in WYD 2013.