Check in: Michaela Schenkelberg, young adults enjoying cultural exchanges

Michaela-2-webPHILADELPHIA—Michaela Schenkelberg spent her first full day in Philly reaching out to the global Catholic family.

She formed an instant friendship with a young man from Poland named Luke, who was traveling alone through the World Meeting of Families — until he was embraced into the fold of young adults from Columbia, S.C.

Michaela said they had enlightening discussions about the differences between their cultures and how, in the end, the similarities of their faith brought them together.

At lunch, Michaela and her friends ran into Nigerian Cardinal John Onaiyekan, who celebrated Mass earlier. She spoke to him about his beautiful homily and took the opportunity to snap some keepsake photos.

They also met Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, who wrote the book “Behold the Man: A Catholic Vision of Male Spirituality.” He said that marriage is a beautiful gift but also a cross that a couple must carry together. In divorce, he explained, the couple puts the cross down, and then the children are the ones to pick it up and carry it. Michaela and Luke, both children of divorce, said that message really resonated with them. The deacon signed a copy of his book “to the men of St. Thomas More.”

“It has been an incredible experience already, just on day two,” she said. “I feel so lucky to be here.”