From the World Youth Day 2011 festivities in Madrid, Spain, Jesuit Fathers Chris Collins, Aaron Pidel and Brian Dunkle, all Jesuits with the Society of Jesus in the United States, discuss how this event is a symbol of hope and renewal for the Church.
Fr. Collins speaks about the universality of the Church and the joy of the young people as they celebrate this event united in their faith. “As for every World Youth Day, it is always a sign of renewal and hope for the entire church, the global church. That is the most striking thing about any of these these World Youth Days is the universality of the church,” he says.
Fr. Pidel talks about the Pope’s intentions for World Youth Day and how bringing young people together in this way shows the vitality of their shared faith. Pidel says, “By bringing so many young people for whom the faith is still so vital and still so much the center of their life, [Pope Benedict XVI ] has shown that the faith is still an option, that the faith itself is a treasure that continues to be hopeful, vital and ever new.”
And finally, Fr. Dunkle remarks on the way young people are drawn to the Pope and the Pope’s ability to reach and gather such a vibrant audience.
You can watch all three Jesuits discuss World Youth Day and its importance in the video below.
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.