Monday, August 22, 2011

WYD ends after downpour

Storm stops distribution of Holy Communion during Mass at end of World Youth Day

Pope arrives for Mass

World Youth Day 2011 is over and the next international World Youth Day will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2013.

Yago de la Cierva, director of World Youth Day Madrid, said the event was planned to be "more religious and less entertaining" than some previous youth gatherings.

A downpour the night of Aug. 21 during the nighttime vigil with the Pope made things particularly difficult for pilgrims who were going to spend the entire night at the site, before the Pope's Mass the next day.

Bishop Donald Bolen of Saskatoon, Sask., was at WYD with about 80 pilgrims from his diocese.
He said the pilgrims found the whole experience "enjoyable and meaningful, and in some instances, transformative. Will they pray daily, celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation frequently, help those who suffer, and take time to discern their vocation?

"I think if you asked them now, many of them would say yes, they will try," he said. "It is my profound hope that the experiences of the past two weeks will stay with them, and that the experience of God's presence and of the Church which they have felt here will be the seedbed for a deepening commitment to Christian discipleship. But as with all of us, time will tell."
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