In his latest column for Catholic New York, Cardinal Dolan asked the question about why so many people attend World Youth Day. His answer was simple, “…on a supernatural level, our participants tell you they need the company, the friendship, the support of one another.”
He goes on to say, “Often, they will observe, they feel they may be the only ones around who believe, who pray, who struggle, who try to follow Jesus and God’s Word. Not on WYD!” As someone who has attended World Youth Day in the past, I can say that all of the above are true. There is something magnificent about seeing so many people walking around a city, with t-shirts and book bags with the symbol of World Youth Day on them that lightens the heart. When you see them on the streets of the city, you know at once that they are fellow pilgrims. It is unlike any other experience of the faith that I have had.
He ends by saying that “Here they sense the Church, that they are Catholic, that Jesus is with them, that they are not alone, that they are part of something bigger.” That is definitely true. World Youth Day reminds the participants, and those that see the event on the news, particularly in crowd shots, that the Church is alive and vibrant and joyful.
To read the cardinal’s entire column, check out the latest issue of Catholic New York, or visit http://www.cny.org/stories/Faith-Comes-Alive-in-Rio,9684?content_source=&category_id=112&search_filter=&search_headline=&event_mode=&event_ts_from=&list_type=&order_by=&order_sort=&content_class=&sub_type=stories&town_id=
Have you been to a World Youth Day, or are you in Rio right now? Please share your thoughts!