Mr. and Mrs. Wyman lead students to Panama for World Youth Day 2019

Emmegale East, Connect Editor

World Youth Day 2019 was held in Panama City, Panama, from Jan. 22 to 27. Among the crowd of 700,000 in attendance stood eleven Xavier students alongside teachers and trip leaders Mr. and Mrs. Wyman. Before embarking upon their journey, Mrs. Wyman described feeling “trepidation” about the unknown while Mr. Wyman fretted over the logistics of the trip itself, saying “I hope we make our flights, I hope nobody gets sick, [and] I hope we don’t lose anybody!”

After the trip, Mr. Wyman exclaimed “well… we didn’t lose anybody!” An experience described as rejuvenating, enriching and overall, fun, the group met friends from all over the world. Mr. and Mrs. Wyman described the people of Panama as truly friendly and vibrant, and Mr. Wyman claimed that “the little country seemed to come alive with all the people that were there.”

The congregation had a “music festival feel,” according to Mr. Wyman. Mrs. Wyman accounts that “the first night the Pope was there we waited… we got a spot right on the rail and the Pope was right there.” When Mr. and Mrs. Wyman asked if they were glad about the results of their adventure, the response was a unanimous and resounding “absolutely.”

The Wymans were asked to lead the trip on the first day back to school by Principal, Sister Joanie. They initially said no, believing it would be too difficult of an adjustment. However, after praying about it, Mrs. Wyman said “a thought entered our heads: why not just say yes?” Mr. Wyman added an interesting detail, “we didn’t know that the theme of the week with the Pope was [going to be] ‘I am a servant unto the Lord, be it done according to Thy will’ (Luke 1:38) … to be of service is what it really came down to.”

Mr. Wyman said the most moving part of the trip was the large Mass itself, calling the moment an epiphany of how truly universal the Church is. “There were hundreds of thousands of people [there], and they all had flags up from different countries, and you really knew it is a universal church,” he said.  

All trip members returned with smiling faces, stories to tell and enriched senses of spirituality, meaning World Youth Day 2019 was a resounding success for all participants from the Xavier community.