Story: Journey on the Baltic Sea with God

When I was first asked by a Jesuit to come along to MAGIS in the summer, I was more than everything else very hesitant. What would await me there? What would the other participants be like? How do I even get to the location?

The priest, a good family friend, acknowledged my doubts and told me not to worry. This was in 2019, I had just finished high school and my military service and wasn’t really sure what would be next for me in life. So, I decided to go along with it and check this MAGIS thing out. What could be the worst thing to happen? Even if I wouldn’t like it, at least I would get to see a new country, Lithuania, their culture and people.

To say I was captivated by my experience is almost an understatement. In a short period of time, I grew very close to my fellow pilgrims during my experiment where we journeyed along the Baltic Sea. We had daily mass, prayed together, walked through deep forests and over sand dunes, had time to reflect on our own. We sang songs of glory and worship, praised the lord for everything he sent us and felt his presence among us.
The last days, where all the participants from the different experiments came together in Kaunas, were also very special. The adoration at night in a full church lit by candle light with a beautiful choir singing and the possibility to go to confession might probably be the part that touched my heart the deepest. In these moments at MAGIS, I could feel the forgiving love and grace our God sends us, and through this grow deeper in the mystery of our faith.

Often as a young Catholic, you are somewhat of an outsider in modern society. During MAGIS, it’s different. With dozens and hundreds of faithful Christians between the ages of 18 and 35 celebrating together, you feel included. You feel at home. MAGIS for me is a time where I can recharge my spiritual batteries, where I find energy to then take out to my “normal” live and walk with God.

Since my first MAGIS experience in 2019, I have participated in MAGIS Europe 2021 in Hungary and will definitely be coming to Croatia this summer as well. I have met so many great people from all over Europe and the globe through this experience organized by the Jesuits that I can only repeat what I was told a few years ago: don’t worry! You don’t have to be the most religious, the most extroverted person or the best at English. Come as you are and let us discover God’s love together in these days of MAGIS!

Simeon, 22, medical student in Innsbruck and MAGIS participant

Hero image by: Andras Kretzer