Friday, July 26, 2013

Seven Quick Takes vol. 52 - World Youth Day edition

Joining Jen and the Great Takers for Seven Quick Takes. And I'm still going-I might make seven days in a row after all!
I have absolutely no idea what to post for may get crazy up in here.


I think I'm just going to go ahead and make this seven quick takes talking about World Youth Day. Is it just me or does it feel as if hardly anyone is covering it? Or not many people are writing about it? Maybe its because its in Brazil and most poor Catholic bloggers/writers can't afford to get there. But I wish so much it could be covered in the degree it deserves. That being said, I think no amount of worldly media could possibly cover it adequately because it is such a great working of God within individual hearts, which is of monumental importance yet impossible to describe!


I don't want to rag on EWTN too much, because they mostly do a pretty decent job considering it seems as if they have one camera in Brazil, BUT if you're looking for a different feed of all the Papal events and a more Canadian/fresh view check out Salt and Light TV. This is the first event I've had Salt and Light TV for, and I'm fairly impressed with their coverage. I've preferred them to EWTN thus far and you can watch online from anywhere - all you people with civilized internet providers - here


I saw this popemobile with Blessed JPII!!

I went to two World Youth Days myself, Rome in 2000 and Toronto in 2002, the last WYD with Blessed John Paul II. Of course the highlight of both experiences was seeing Pope John Paul II. I could cry just thinking about it. I got as close as the popemobile driving far too quickly by, but even seeing him in that situation was remarkable. I was very young, but still, there was no denying that you could physically see Christ in his face. It was simply amazing.


The crowd at WYD Toronto in 2002.

My largest takeaway from World Youth Days was simply the greatness, the vastness, and the depth of the Church. I'm sure each person who experiences World Youth Day experiences something unique and individual because that's just how God speaks to us, but for me who grew up as the only teenager aside from my siblings in our parish who went to Mass every Sunday, being in a crowd of millions of people my age who cared about the Church and Christ enough to be there blew me away. It made the Church feel real, and relevant. And in turn it made my faith feel real and relevant. Not something just to be sneered at by others, not something that was deadly uncool, not something that had no impact on my life but something that was real to not just me but so many others from so many other parts of the world. It definitely changed my perspective on faith in general and the Church in particular. I finally felt in some degree supported in my faith, not alone, and encouraged that my Church was alive! I'm sure looking back over the course of my lifetime it will remain a great part of what kept me in the faith. 


Overcome with emotion at WYD Toronto.

I think if more adults could experience World Youth Day there would be a lot less divisions. A lot less criticism of a pope's supposed "liberality" or "conservatism" or "traditionalism" and a much deeper appreciation that our Church and faith is so deep and wide that it holds and encompasses every culture on this planet and that every culture can equally participate in it. 

I've loved watching this World Youth Day in Rio because I believe that the Latin American culture is going to be one that is going to influence the Church more and more on a global scale in the future. I'd love to understand and know more about it and I pray that this World Youth Day further inspires South Americans. And that one day I go to Brazil, my husband has relatives living maybe!


Oh yeah, nothing like a vigil sleeping on a cardboard box.

I think everyone should go on a World Youth Day if only to understand what it is to really travel. Sure you can backpack across Europe. But try navigating a huge city that's been further inundated with two million extra people all of whom have no idea where they're going! Add on top of that the fact you're travelling with and as a group of who knows how many, and its your basic travelling nightmare! 

I've never been as hot as I was standing in the field outside of Rome in August waiting for the Vigil. And never so cold sleeping in the soaking sleeping bag that night which had been soaked from the water cannons that sprayed us in the afternoon hoping to save lives. We then preceded to miss any and all transportation back to the city after the Sunday Mass and had to walk about 20 kms back to Rome. I thought I was going to die as an Italian that day. I travelled with a group of girls that trip who consisted of girls who alternately wanted to go clubbing and were homesick. At the tender age of 15 I wanted to smack all of them for completely ignoring the beauty and opportunity of being in ROME!! They held me back from numerous cultural and artistic and historic sites...I may still be bitter. 

But its awfully hard to beat that type of learning experience and travel experience. You figure out how wonderful travel is and to never to take even a cot for granted. You learn a lot, and it turns out to be a pilgrimage is so many ways!


So far my favourite words from Pope Francis have been his beautiful homily he gave at Aparecida. I love how Pope Francis keeps driving to the whole point of Christianity. He hits home, never minces words, knows how to get to the point. And I think its good, I think we live in a culture, even within the Church, of people who don't know the basics, who don't live the basics. If we focus on the basics then we can make progress right!? 

I love his three points of a Christian attitude: being hopeful, being open to God's surprises, living in joy. Love it!

"Christians cannot be pessimists! They do not look like someone in constant mourning. If we are truly in love with Christ and if we sense how much he loves us, our heart will “light up” with a joy that spreads to everyone around us."

Happy Weekend everyone!!


  1. Those are the two WYDs I was at too! Remember how hot Rome was? And how it rained the morning of the closing Mass in Toronto? You're doesn't really feel like anyone is covering it this year. Thanks for picking up the slack!

  2. I was at World Youth Day 1997 in Paris. I sort of wrote my Quick Takes about World Youth Day (it's a long story). I've been watching EWTN but I will definitely check out the other one you mentioned.

  3. A friend said on Facebook yesterday that her experience with WYD meant to her that she could never be anything but Catholic - what an amazing testament. I'm really hoping that after Poland we might get another WYD on the North American continent soon. I'd love to experience it.

  4. I LOVE this post...the past oh three WYDs have called my name. Like I beg my husband. Here I am, hoping that maybe for the next one, maybe maybe we could go with our growing family! Is that one of God's surprises for us?!?!?! I would be THRILLED!!!


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