Monday, August 12, 2013
World Youth Day in Brasil - It's Over. Now What?
As I grabbed for my shoes recently, grains of sand fell to the floor. A joyous reminder that just a couple weeks ago, I was on a beach. This wasn't your typical beach vacation though. I was on Copacabana Beach with millions of other Catholics, celebrating World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. For me it was a super-charged spiritual retreat. What an amazing experience! I assure you, Rio is still fresh on the minds and hearts of all the WYD pilgrims. It was uplifting and inspiring, and for this pilgrim, something I will truly never forget. I went down to Rio with Paulist Seminarian, Jimmy Hsu, and we reported our finding to Busted Halo. If you haven't had the chance, check out our videos, pictures, and blog entries from a life-changing week in Brazil - bustedhalo.com/wyd-rio.
I think back now, and the whole week seems like a blur. Like a dream. A dream with lots of sand. But looking at our video coverage assures me that it all happened. Here's how the week in video went down. Have a look! Every adventure has a beginning -- Start the Journey. Jimmy and I were lucky enough to have a great vantage point of Pope Francis when he first arrived in town -- Hello Rio! Hello Pope! A day later, we swarmed Copacabana beach with a diverse crowd of pilgrims for the powerful and unifying opening Mass -- United on a Beach. Next, we got lost on a metro line, go figure, and ended up at a Religious Vocations Fair. Interestingly enough, it incorporated a dance club tent complete with DJ and laser lights. You bet I checked it out -- Answer the Call. Then, when I figured we couldn't get a better view of Pope Francis, his Pope Mobile stopped right in front of me, and two babies got a kiss they will never forget -- Papa, we meet Again! Finally, on a windy, rainy, and very memorable day, we took a field trip to see the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. We discussed the relevancy of the real Jesus and admired a -- Very Big Jesus. And now here we are - It's Over. Now What? World Youth Day has ended but the impact it left on the millions who lived it remains strong. Many pilgrims are now spreading their faith with greater fervour all over the globe. After all, the theme for this WYD was "Go and make Disciples of all Nations" (Mt 28:19). The sand from Copacabana Beach will eventually leave my shoes completely, but the effects of what I experienced on that beach will always remain. I saw a unified church, a faith that is alive! I hope you've enjoyed following our exploits and we hope to see you in Poland for World Youth Day 2016!