Also nurtured at World Youth Day were the vocations of Joe and Karissa O'Hearn. Now married, the couple met on a pilgrimage to Cologne, Germany, in 2006.
The summer before their senior year of high school, the O'Hearns met at the airport on the way to Germany, their friendship developing over the period of the trip.
"From World Youth Day this huge conversion had sparked in him," Karissa told CNA about her husband, who had been complacent in his faith before the pilgrimage.
She noted that "what I had with Christ didn't conflict with what I had with Joe. The two never impaled each other…there was nothing I wanted to keep from Christ about our relationship."
Reflecting on one night of the pilgrimage in particular, when they both spent time in adoration together, O'Hearn said that "there was just this warmth and this peace that came over me…I could totally focus on Christ. It was the first time I wasn't making this happen, but God was laying this gift before me."
Now married for four years and expecting their second child, O'Hearn observed, "Looking back and thinking about what Christ has shown me, there are many things, many gifts that have come through our marriage."
"I've always been this really dorky, middle-school type romantic," she explained. Thinking back on meeting her husband at World Youth Day, she said that "Christ really showed me – all those romantic desires, all of the things you created from sitcoms – those desires I've placed in your heart."
Christ says, "I took you all the way to Germany just to meet your spouse and know and encounter me," she said.