World Youth Day 2011 is set to begin in Madrid, Spain in just a few weeks. Pilgrims from all over the world will be in attendance, ready to share the common bond of their Catholic faith.
While many of those pilgrims are still a few weeks away from boarding planes or taking trains to Madrid, an initiative known as MAGIS will be sending students all over Spain and Portugal to participate experiences in preparation for World Youth Day.
This initiative was started in 1997 (World Youth Day Paris). In 2005 in Cologne, it was called MAGIS for the first time. In 2008 it was celebrated in Sydney and in 2011 it will be celebrated in Madrid in the days leading up to World Youth Day. The motto for this MAGIS is “with Christ at the heart of the world.” The Society of Jesus, along with other religious institutions and laypeople throughout the world who follow Ignatian Spirituality, have invited pilgrims to find Christ at the center of their lives.
Throughout the past year and a half of planning, ideas have become realities and all that is left to do are the finishing touches.
After the initial selection, more than 400 volunteers began working in teams to go about organizing the potential experiences, working on content and logistics, and finalizing plans. There are six types of experiences: Pilgrimage, Social Service, Art and Creativity, Faith and Culture, Spirituality, and Ecology.
Recently released, MAGIS has posted a list of the experience locations and what work will be completed at each; these include visiting Fatima, volunteering in a prison, accompanying marginalized families, serving pilgrims at Lourdes and restoring a hermitage. For the full list, click here.