Molokai Youth Make the Journey of a Lifetime

Hard work and community support helped to send the island’s Catholic youth to World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, Australia.

Molokai youth and ministry leaders show their hometown pride as they traveled to Sydney, Australia to join in the festivities of World Youth Day 2008.

By Zalina Alvi

After more than two years of fundraising, the youth of a Catholic parish on Molokai had the experience of a lifetime when they traveled to Sydney, Australia for World Youth Day 2008.

All those who went agreed that it was an amazing opportunity to share in cultural and spiritual fellowship with other Catholic youth from as far as away as Columbia and Poland.

“Even though we come from different parts of the world, we all have the same beliefs,” said Julie Bicoy, who enjoyed the chance to meet and commune with Catholic youth from around the globe.

World Youth Day is the largest gathering of youth in the world, and it took place this year from July 15 to 20 in Sydney, Australia. Participants enjoy a series of spiritual and cultural events throughout the week, culminating in a Final Mass with the Pope on the last day.

Donna Bicoy’s said the group’s visit to St. Mary’s Cathedral was one of her favorite experiences. “It was definitely the prettiest,” she said.

The youth were joined in their excursion by youth ministry leaders Gene Santiago, Julie Bicoy, and Bo Mahoe. Together, the parish prepared a presentation and potluck dinner on Aug. 6 at St. Sophia’s to share their experiences with the rest of the community who helped them on their journey.

“We had a lot of community support,” said Ayla Bicoy, one of the lucky few who were able to participate in the event.

The young men and women of St. Sophia’s Catholic Church and Our Lady of Seven Sorrows were able to raise the $3,500 per person needed to send them on this historic event through chocolate sales, a golf tournament, selling lunch plates, and sponsorship from the community. They went on the epic 10-day journey with other parishes from Maui and Oahu.


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