Vocations Fair at WYD seeks to spark reflection

A pilgrim takes time during World Youth Day to speak with a priest about vocations July 26 2013 Credit Michelle Bauman CNA CNA 7 26 13 A pilgrim takes time during World Youth Day to speak with a priest July 26, 2013. | Michelle Bauman/CNA.

A major part of World Youth Day, the 2013 Vocations Fair offers young people examples of those who have responded concretely to God's call through lives of prayer, sacraments and witness.

"The goal," explained Father Leonardo Lopes, the fair's coordinator, is to lead "all who pass by there to wonder what God expects of them."

The Vocations Fair runs July 23-26 and is located at the Quinta da Boa Vista, which means "Park of the Nice View" - a public park in northern Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that houses the National Museum and the Zoological Garden.

More than 100 religious communities and congregations are taking part in the fair. These include 44 female religious orders, 23 male religious orders, 16 movements and 20 new communities.

The groups all have an international presence, allowing pilgrims to stay in contact with them after they return to their home countries.

World Youth Day planners explained that the presence of these groups "witnesses the richness of the renewal of the Church in Latin America and the rest of the Word, especially after the Second Vatican Council."

The fair also includes opportunities for personal sharing and music, as well as a Eucharistic Adoration tent and several dozen confessionals.

In addition, relics of two saints are present. The Carmelites of Chile have sent a piece of bone from St. Teresa of the Andes, intercessor for World Youth Day 2013, and relics of St. Therese of Lisieux, one of the patron saints of this World Youth Day, is also at the event.

According to a statement by World Youth Day organizers, the Vocations Fair seeks to help young people see "the meaning and mission of their life."

"Through the exposure of the richness and diversity of charismatic congregations, religious movements and communities, which represent concrete answers to the call of God, pilgrims are led to reflect and deepen on the meaning and direction they want to give to their life." 

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