Friday, August 26, 2011

JMJ - Tuesday through Friday

World Youth Day in Madrid officially starts with the opening Mass with Cardinal Antonio Maria, Archbishop of Madrid. Our group was able to stay together and attend the Mass together. What really stuck me was how silent everyone around us was during the Eucharistic Prayer and communion.Here is a picture I took of the altar and sanctuary used for the Opening Mass on Tuesday, the welcoming ceremony of the Holy Father on Thursday, and the Stations of the Cross on Friday.

Another important component of WYD is catechesis. Bishops from around the world come to WYD in order to share preach, teach and celebrate Mass with groups of young people. Bishop Hebda joined us each morning. On Wednesday and Thursday our catechesis site was sponsored by the Archdiocese of Dublin. The first day the archbishop of Edinburgh taught us. He talked about the importance of being firm in our faith. On Thursday the Archbishop of Dublin spoke to us. It was especially poignant because the Irish church is currently struggling with more bad news with the abuse scandals. I enjoyed being with the Irish church those few days.


This is a picture of our Irish catechesis site.

On Friday we switched sites. We went to the Placio de deportes which was the main American catechesis site sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the Sisters of Life. Archbishop Dolan (New York) was keynote speaker. He was so dynamic. He kept us all on the edge of our seats. There was over 12,000 people there. Dcn. Peter was lucky enought to serve as the deacon of the Mass. He even chanted the Gospel!


Another highlight of the week was on Thursday. I went to an event sponsored by the Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati society. There we had adoration of the Bl. Sacrament, veneration of relics. I even got to meet the niece of Bl. Frassati. I also met up with a friend of mine from WYD in Australia. We met in Australia and have stayed in touch ever since.

It is amazing how you randomonly meet people during WYD. I saw so many of my friends from seminary. I even met a future classmate for the first time.

All the festivities of the week are only a preparation for the big vigil and Mass with the Holy Father. WYD is primarily a pilgrimage, a journey to encounter the living Christ.



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