Monday, August 15, 2011

BIS #2518 WYD: A PILGRIMAGE THROUGH GUADALAJARA

Ajoy Fernandes sdb
SPAIN, AUGUST 15, 2011: Youth along with their animators hailing from Dubai, India, Italy, Peru, Venezuela, UAE and the SYM accommodated across the parishes and religious institutions in Guadalajara were treated to a well-organized guided tour of the city. Pilgrims organized into groups of twenty to thirty each were ushered through the morning by youth volunteers across twenty sites of religious, historical and cultural significance. Sites included cathedrals, churches, shrines, palaces, museums, and cultural centers. Middle-aged volunteers from the Diocese delivered well-prepared commentaries on the importance of the sites, the services they render, and their architectural style. There was a prayerful reflection after the visit to each site. Sensitive to the different linguistic groups present, volunteers took pains to speak in Spanish, English and French.

The attraction of the afternoon was a pipe-organ concerto hosted in a parish church. The highlight of the day was a procession with the statue of Mother Mary. The procession that gradually began to swell with devout local and WYD pilgrims joining in at various locations ended in the central park where the Eucharist was celebrated with many concelebrants. The procession back to the Shrine was impressive with pilgrims waving their national flags amidst chants and prayers in Spanish and English. “I was impressed to see young people participating with so much devotion,” said an Indian participant. The procession sent out a clear message to the young pilgrims: “Be with us Mary along the Way.” May Mother Mary continue to guide the steps of the pilgrims through their life’s journey.

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