One of the blessings of being a Catholic journalist on an assignment to World Youth Day is that I get to both watch and experience the pilgrimage. Today, I saw firsthand how young people are embracing the fun and the joy of the events, and also fully embracing and exploring the depths of the serious side of faith.
The Love and Life Site, co-hosted by the Sisters of Life and the Knights of Columbus was where I spent most of my time today. The day included Eucharistic Adoration as part of the popular Catholic Underground offered by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. The sports arena packed with young people for the two-hour adoration, and quite a few people left clearly moved by the moments of prayer and reflection in the presence of the Eucharist.
Later that night, during a Christian rock performance by Steve Angrisano, I saw in mere moments the crowd switch from rocking to the music to using song as a form of prayer. The change can be seen in the two videos below.
In this first video, watch how the crowd is clearly enjoying the song and getting into the music.
In this next video, Angrisano asked the audience to think about song as a prayer, which he also says mid-video. Watch how the mood changes.
The change was almost palpable in the air. The end of this first day of the pilgrimage definitely has me excited for else is to come in the days ahead.