Canadians find greater unity at Rio’s World Youth Day
Canadian pilgrims at a July 24 World Youth Day catechesis session
Canadian pilgrims at a July 24 World Youth Day catechesis session
By Estefania Aguirre
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A group of Canadian pilgrims said this World Youth Day is more fun and the youth feel “more united” than at previous events.

“There are always little differences in all of them, but I find that in this particularly, there’s a lot more of a sense of communion,” said Christina Brine, from Winnipeg, Canada.

“It doesn’t matter what language you speak, you’re able to communicate, especially with the Brazilians because they’re so welcoming, and it’s just fun,” she told CNA July 24.

She and some of her fellow Canadians gathered at a catechesis session this morning at the school of Our Lady of Mercy in Rio’s Botafogo area.

This is Brine’s fourth World Youth Day. She participated in previous gatherings in Toronto, Cologne and Sydney.

In Rio, she has found great enthusiasm for visitors.

“When Brazilian pilgrims see the Canadian flag, they shout 'Ca-na-da!' and then it’s just a chant of 'Ca-na-da!' all the way until they disappear down the street,” she said.

Brine emphasized that at every World Youth Day she loves seeing people’s faces when they experience the event for the very first time.

The 29-year-old said she loves “how they light up, how they’re so intrigued as individuals through the different activities that we’ve been able to do.”

 Brine believes this Pope “will be one of those that talks from his heart and will be able to communicate with generations now.”

She said one of the things she likes best at the world’s largest youth Catholic gathering is the that the catechesis session that take place over three days.

“It’s just a mingle of all the cultures and nations together and I love seeing how we all interact,” Brine said.

“I was really touched by the Lord in Sydney so this is just a building on from that,” she stated.

She believes that youth have left the Church because of “pressure” and that events like World Youth Day bring people back.

“We need to use these events more to keep people in and bring more people back into the Church,” Brine told CNA.

Another pilgrim, Jennifer Cooke, is a 34-year-old school counselor originally from Winnipeg, Canada. She is living World Youth Day for the second time.

“They were amazing experiences,” Cooke said of her first event. “But this time I felt I came a little better prepared in terms of knowing what is going to happen.”

“But I found that, just the same as last time, the opening Mass gave me such a sense of awe that we’re all here together and it really does give that sense of connection to one another as part of a Christian community,” she said.

Cooke has come to this World Youth Day to strengthen and continue to grow in her faith as well as to embrace “the theme of going to the world and serving it as Christ’s disciple.”

“My hope is that the theme will emphasize the need of the Church to be the agent of social justice and of change in that area for Brazil,” she remarked.

“Money needs to continue to go into education and healthcare and to try to improve the condition of people in favelas,” she said.

Organizers prepared young people for World Youth Day with a ‘mission week’ from July 17 to 20 across different regions of Brazil. They aimed to give young people the chance to participate in spiritual activities, works of solidarity with local communities, and missionary and cultural events.

Cooke said she had hoped to be more involved in work with local communities, but her group leader decided to have her group participate in the spiritual activities of Chemin Neuf, a Catholic ecumenical community.

“That was a different experience and I was really disappointed we didn’t get to participate in missions week,” said the Canadian.

“They have a different theological approach than what I’m accustomed to and it was good that it really exposed me to that,” she added.

She noted “it’s a more evangelical approach than what I’m comfortable with, although it’s good to be outside one’s comfort zone.”

Concerning Pope Francis, Cooke emphasized that she is “definitely looking forward to meeting him” and that she is “touched that he comes from the global south.”

“I think that him being from the southern hemisphere will bring a new approach to the papacy and hopefully really renew the fire for social justice,” said Cooke.

Tags: World Youth Day, Church in Canada

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 21, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

Gospel:: Lk 1: 26-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27