JESUIT YOUTH AT WYD FIND EXPERIENCE OF UNIVERSAL CHURCH

Participants From Rural India Enjoy Many Firsts

MADRID, Spain, AUG. 24, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Some 3,000 World Youth Day participants in Madrid last week attended the celebrations with Magis, a Jesuit pastoral program that prepares and accompanies young people in the WYD experience.

The youth began the Magis itinerary on Aug. 5 in Loyola, the birthplace of the founder of the Jesuits, and concluded with the papal events in Madrid.

Mariel Rodriguez, from Seville, recounted that the most important thing she gleaned from Magis was “very much confidence and closeness to God.”

For the coordinator of 52 Indian pilgrims, Jesuit Father Erwin Lazrado, Magis 2011 “was a great experience for the heart and for the deepening of the faith of the pilgrims.”

The priest commented that the principal experience the Indians were taking back to their country was “feeling united to the one Church; these days we felt as the one Catholic Church with the Holy Father.”

Father Lazrado also pointed out how important this global experience was for the pilgrims who came with him. “They are young people from rural areas who were chosen to participate; it was the first time they traveled by plane, that they saw people of other cultures.”

The coordinator of Rumania, Jesuit Father Florin Silaghi, came to Magis 2011 with 38 people who have already asked him if they can organize a similar experience on the occasion of the Catholic National Meeting that will be held in Rumania next year.

Father Silaghi highlighted that “we were able to choose the cultural and spiritual events we preferred to see” and we also “enjoyed the city very much.”

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