World Youth Day 2013 begins officially next Tuesday, July 23, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but the Congregation’s ministries inBrazilhave already begun to receive pilgrims from around the world. Many of the young people being hosted by the Holy Cross schools and parishes in Brazil are coming from the Congregation’s ministries in other parts of the world.
More than 40 students from the United States Province, District of Chile’s two schools in Chile (St. George’s CollegeandColegio Nuestra Senora de Andacollo)have already arrived in Brazil. They are joined by the seminarians from Holy Cross’ International House of Studies in Santiago, Chile. They are engaging in a week of mission and pastoral service atColegio Notre Damein Campinas, Sao Paulo, before heading to Rio.
About 12 students and two staff members from the University of Portland are also travelling to Rio.
“World Youth Day is a wonderful opportunity for our students to strengthen their faith by connecting with over a million young Catholics from around the world,” said Rev. Gerard Olinger, C.S.C, vice president for Student Affairs at the University of Portland. “I think the most remarkable thing about World Youth Day is what I saw it do to our students when they got back to campus from Spain in 2011. They were alive with their faith and the desire to share it with others. I watched them get more involved in the liturgical life on campus as well as with campus ministry programming. I think that is the genius of World Youth Day.”
Holy Cross will also have a presence at the Vocations Pavilion in Rio, just like it did at WYD 2011. “World Youth Day is an opportunity to strengthen the unity and faith of young people in Jesus Christ,” said Br. Edson Pereira, C.S.C., vocation director for the Holy CrossDistrict of Brazil. “For the Congregation in Brazil, it is a great opportunity to get closer still to the young. World Youth Day relates well to the charism of Holy Cross as the week is precisely about offering young people the opportunity to meet and deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ. In the society in which we live today, we have to offer the young Christian values that will help them live.”
As was the case at World Youth Day 2011 in Madird, Spain,Holy Cross Family Ministriesisagain sponsoring a Marian chapel for pilgrims. The chapel features the Luminous Mysteries dramatically portrayed on four screens surrounding the young pilgrims with a very unique and spiritual way to pray the Rosary. It is part of a wider site sponsored by theUnited States Conference of Catholic Bishops.