Jesuit scholastic Michael Rossman and his group of Magis 2011 pilgrims lined the streets of Madrid, Spain along with millions of other World Youth Day participants to joyfully greet the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI to the festivities yesterday.
Rossman and the group of students he is chaperoning as part of Magis 2011 were overwhelmed at this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Madrid is bustling and bursting at the seams with over a million young people gathered for the World Youth Day celebrations. Jesuit scholastic Michael Rossman has been there from the beginning as a chaperone with a group of Magis 2011 pilgrims. He’s been sharing his experiences in video pieces and also as a World Youth Day correspondent for the Huffington Post.
Recently, he wrote there, ” Even though people heard the numbers of people expected to be here for World Youth Day, it is an entirely different experience to be surrounded — oftentimes literally, especially when traveling in the metro or attending the bigger events — by people who share the same faith.”
The Magis 2011 pilgrims at World Youth Day are staying across the city of Madrid in schools, bunking down in classrooms and even sleeping outside.
Marquette University student Emma Scuglik gives us a glimpse into what life is like as a pilgrim and how she is getting around the city, along with a million other people, during World Youth Day 2011.
Jesuit Father Jack Bentz is at World Youth Day as a vocation promoter for the Society of Jesus. Currently in Madrid, Fr. Benz joins a group of other Jesuits from the U.S. who are speaking with young people at World Youth Day who might be discerning joining the Jesuits.
Benz explains to the WYD pilgrims what the Jesuits do, what a life as a Jesuit might look like and how these pilgrims might continue on with their own vocation path, possibly as a Jesuit like himself.
Hear more from Benz in the video below.
Curious about what life as Jesuit might be like? Visit the Society of Jesus in the United States’ vocation page.
In this video piece, Jesuit scholastic Michael Magree explains the role of the Jesuits at World Youth Day and how they are reaching out to the young people in attendance.
“World Youth Day is about giving young people an experience of the body of Christ, the experience of the Church as this universal body,” says Magree. “The Jesuits have something to contribute, something that is very profound - a great devotion to Jesus, a very personal devotion to Jesus.”
You can watch Magree’s video on the role of Jesuits at World Youth Day in this piece below: