World Youth Day
Attended by nearly two million young people from 193 countries of the world, the World Youth Day 2011 concluded recently in
. The Holy Father, Benedict XVI accompanied the youth from August 16 - 21 in Madrid, Spain . His presence was greeted with cheers of joy and jubilation by all the participants wherever he went. The theme of the WYD was "Rooted and Built Up in Jesus Christ, Firm in the Faith." ( Madrid 2.7) Col
The highlight of the gathering was a vigil at the
airfield Cuatro Vientos on August 20. Nearly 20 lakhs youth attended it braving scorching heat of the day and thunderstorm and rain at night. In the presence of the Holy Father the Eucharistic Adoration brought about a reverent silence over the full stretch of the vast air field. The Holy Fahter celebrated his concluding mass at the same venue the following day. He exhorted the youth saying "The world needs the testimony of your faith". Madrid
To participate in this historic gathering in a "more" fervent manner the Jesuits had initiated a youth programme of their own called MAGIS 2011. Its theme was "With Christ at the Heart of the World". Over 3000 youths from 52 countries gathered at Loyola to start this Ignatian adventure at the foot of the Sanctuary of Loyola. The highlight of this initial phase was the solemn mass celebrated by Father General, Adolfo Nicolas S.J. on August 7. He then sent us on our way to different experiments. All the magis participants divided in 117 experiment groups each consisting 25 members left Loyola on 8 August. These experiments spread across the whole of Spain and parts of Portugal, were designed for an intensive experience of pilgrimage, social service, art, spirituality, ecology, faith and culture. They indeed united the groups and brought forth our spirit of magis. On August 15 the entire Magis group once again gathered in
Madrid at El Recuerdo school, close to the residence of the Pope in Central Madrid.
Then on the Magis 2011 merged with overwhelming and energetic WYD participants. However, throughout the WYD celebrations the magis spirit prevailed through our incessant singing, dancing and lively participation in the Catechesis classes.
A group of 13 members represented
Gujarat at both these events. Thanks to the generosity of the Gujarat Jesuits that besides a Jesuit and Sr.Pushpa Telor CCV, thirteen youth could travel to for MAGIS and WYD 2011. Spain
Over all it was a once-in-lifetime type of experience for all of us.
By: SUNIL MACWAN S.J.