From Depression to Joy: echo of WYD 2016


My name is Pawel, I work in a hospital in Warsaw. I grew up in a Catholic family, but I always felt that there was something missing in my faith. For years I thought that my faith was weak, without a deep relationship with God. I wasn’t happy in what I was doing, even though I used to help in the liturgy service, first as an altar boy and later as lector. After coming to Warsaw to study, I hoped that I would find a community that would help me to find happiness in my faith. I tried different communities, but I didn’t find what I was looking for. I lost my joy, I fell into depression.

I was hoping that by participating in the WYD it would change. I wanted to be a volunteer in the Parish of St Jacob in Warsaw. During preparation for this event, nothing changed my situation. Weeks before the Days in the Diocese I was informed that I had an aneurism in my brain. At that time I thought about giving up. I even thought about suicide. But finally I stayed as volunteer. On the two first days I was in charge of taking people from the airport. On the second day I took a group of 30 people who were part of the Shalom Community from Israel. On the bus, the youth took out their instruments and started to sing and dance. I didn’t know what to do as I felt a bit embarrassed about that situation. I wanted to run away and not come back. But God had other plans.

I remained in this same group for the next two days. Their happiness started to have influence over me. I saw real happiness of faith, something that I always looked for. The more people I met from Shalom Community, the more happiness there was in me. I forgot about my problems. It was something which I have never felt in Poland. I have never seen such happiness in evangelization, such devotion for mission. I joined them in street evangelization and I saw how they lead people to God. After the Days in the Diocese I went to Cracow where I spent every afternoon with the Shalom Community. It was a beautiful experience when I saw the way they evangelized and shared their happiness with others.

Because of them, I discovered which path I should follow in my life, what I should be devoted to. I want to show the same happiness in faith as they did. During this whole time with them, about two weeks, I didn’t have any moment of depression; instead, I was filled with joy! It was something that I haven’t felt for years. As I thought about the aneurism, this experience also gave me strength because I knew that God still wanted me to live. So, why shouldn’t I give Him my whole life and my happiness?

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