In less than a month, Cameron James, a 15-year-old sophomore at Archbishop Ryan High School, will be travelling to Panama.
James, of Lawncrest, was recently selected to represent Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office for Black Catholics at World Youth Day, an international event for young Catholics. This year, it will be held in Panama City.
He will be leaving Jan. 20 for the all-expenses paid trip. James has not learned his full itinerary yet, but he will definitely be attending an outdoor Mass celebrated by Pope Francis.
“I was surprised, and I was really happy,” James said when asked about his reaction when he learned he was going to the event.
James received the Monsignor Mitchell Scholarship from the Office for Black Catholics. He had to submit an essay to qualify, and he wrote about his community service work at St. William Parish.
At Ryan, James is involved with the Community Service Corps and baseball program.
Due to his age, James will be accompanied on the trip by his 21-year-old sister Christiana. They will go with a group of other high school students, though James will be the only one from Ryan.
Although it is called World Youth Day, the event actually includes a number of events from Jan. 22 to Jan. 27. The highlight is normally a highly attended Papal Mass. ••