WYD Day 7 — mercy in the Mass

mass“WYD Krakow 2016 has begun,” were the words of Card. Stanisław Dziwisz at the end of the Opening Mass today. What a beautiful feast of Mercy we are celebrating here. I had the grace to receive tickets right in front of the main stage. It was impressive to see the thousands and thousands of youth gathered around the altar.

Right before the event a lightning storm broke out. I realized that I had forgotten my umbrella back home. But bad weather was not enough to stop the crowds of pilgrims going to Blonia, the venue of the ceremony. Little by little the storm faded out and the sun came shining through the clouds. Continue reading

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May God Bless Fr Jacques Hamel

jacquesFr Jacques Hamel, 85, died this morning.

I didn’t know Fr Jacque.  In fact, before today I had never heard of him.  Most of us have never heard of most Catholic priests.  They are men who serve the Church, bring us the sacraments and have only God to appreciate their love and sacrifice.

But we’ll all remember Fr Jacques; he died when a couple ISIS thugs slit his throat while he was serving mass in St.-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France. Continue reading

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WYD Day 6 — Adoration

adorationThere is ongoing Eucharistic Adoration in many of the churches in Krakow. Most of them are always packed with young men and women. In each of those churches there is an Ecclesial Movement that is in charge of the adoration. Regnum Christi also will be in charge of adoration in a parish.

It is so refreshing to spend some quiet time in the presence of Jesus. I believe that is the place where the youth will receive most of the graces during the WYD. Our Lord is so good to us. Continue reading

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World Youth Day 5 — Brother reinforcements

brothersYesterday, as I entered a restaurant to have dinner, I stumbled on a Mexican young man that I met three years ago in WYD Rio. We recognized each other right away. That is one of the neat experiences of this event, to be able to see our WYD friends again and realize how faith unites us.

Today, we received reinforcements. A group of 18 legionary brothers arrived from Rome. They will be helping in three different activities (and also eating a lot of food). Some of them are part of the www.whynotpriest.com project. They will be promoting vocations in the streets of Krakow through music and soccer. Other brothers will be working at the Regnum Christi booth at the vocation fair. They will be working with RC consecrated and laity. Finally, there will be a group of brothers guiding pilgrims in an exhibit about the Holy Shroud. Continue reading

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World Youth Day 4 — family

familyWorld Youth Day 2016 grows bigger and bigger each day. And the Regnum Christi presence is getting larger.

We began this day with Mass with representatives of the whole RC family. There were Legionary priests and brothers, consecrated men and women, and laity.

Today also was the most intense training I had. We were practicing from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. We had a break for lunch and I had the opportunity to eat the real Polish pierogi for the first time. This is a kind of dumpling made of potato. By the way, for the meals, volunteers and pilgrims receive vouchers. We need to find restaurants that accept those vouchers and have a special WYD menu. Sometimes we have some surprises, like the restaurant who would not give us anything to drink. But in general the food is pretty decent.

We have an excellent team of translators and little by little we are forming a family. There are translators from all cultures, states of life, ages. They are priests, nuns, moms, grandmas, college students, seminarians, teachers. But we are all united in the same faith. Our meetings are hilarious, but always enriching.

We can´t wait to receive Pope Francis and help him to communicate his message of Mercy to our youth!

 

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WYD Krakow 2016 – Day 3 — team translation

translationToday we had more training sessions led by professional interpreters. By the way, I finally learned the difference between interpreting and translating. The interpreter not just translates words but also communicates emotions, voice tone, silence. It will be a great challenge to be able to transmit the richness of the teaching of the Pope to our young audience.

For this job I will have an excellent partner, Claudia. She is Italian, and can speak fluent Portuguese. She even has an accent from the northeast of Brazil.  To interpret with another person is much better. Today we started practicing teamed translation and it worked well. Continue reading

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Expecting Good Things

This post is dedicated to my friends Ruth and Elizabeth in thanksgiving.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

prayerOne thing I have noticed about the Holy Spirit is that when He is really on the move, the same message keeps coming into my life from different directions.  Lately, this overall message has been one of expecting good things and of being a source of blessing to all, even blessing the hurts and weaknesses in my very self.  In a previous post  I ended with a special prayer to St. Rafael the Archangel.  Just today, I was at breakfast, after morning Mass, with two friends; and, they asked me to send them this prayer.  I would like to comment on the prayer to encourage us all to expect good things.  At breakfast, we spoke of God’s abiding Love for us.  He sends us “love letters” through His Word.  He gives us gifts and places desires and dreams on our hearts for our own benefit and the benefit of others. Continue reading

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WYD Krakow 2016 – Day 2 — Divine Mercy

mercyMy first day in Poland was full of excitement. The airplane to Warsaw was delayed a few hours. That was bad because I was supposed to take a train to Krakow. I was nervous at first, but started praying and put the situation in the hands of the Blessed Mother. I arrived in Warsaw, and the Lord put different people in just the right places to help me get to the train station as fast as possible. Maybe they were angels. With their guidance I made the train a few seconds before it started moving.

After a restoring night of sleep, I had my first training session in the morning. The training takes place at the University where Saint John Paul II studied as a young man. There we received lessons from a professional interpreter from whom I learned so much. Continue reading

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WYD Krakow 2016 – Day 1

krakowIn a few hours I’ll take a plane to Poland. I’ll join thousands of young people from all corners of the Earth for the World Youth Day in Krakow. We’ll gather around Pope Francis to pray and celebrate the Mercy of God.

Three years ago I was coming back from WYD Rio 2013. I was dead tired, but happy. I had two wonderful weeks of experiencing the faith of our Catholic Church. I asked Jesus and the Blessed Mother the grace to experience it again.

So, here I am on my way to this amazing event of faith! I’ll help again as a translator of the main events of the Pope. Yet, I am going also as a pilgrim, looking forward to experiencing the merciful gaze of Jesus.

If you can’t make to WYD Krakow 2016, you are welcome to join me through this blog! I’ll do my best to post daily updates. Please, pray for all those young people who are on their way to Poland, So that they may have an intimate encounter with our Lord in Krakow!

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One thing

oneI´m exhausted, but I feel energized. I´m not doing anything particularly “fun”, but I´m enjoying myself immensely. I´m not getting anything out of this on a practical level, but something is overflowing with joy inside of me.

These three weeks of summer camp have been quite paradoxical.

After one particular outing, I returned to Woodlands Academy asking myself why I so thoroughly enjoyed a day of following eight ten-year-old girls around Dublin and two hours on a very noisy bus. I must admit, it puzzled me for a few hours. It really did. Because there was something on the outside saying why in the world are you spending your life like this…while something on the inside was saying I am just… so… HAPPY. Continue reading

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