Posts Tagged ‘world youth day’

Looking at the Good Fruit of World Youth Day Denver ’93

DENVER — It was an event bigger than Woodstock, and featured a man who captivated the hearts and minds of youth who came from all over the world. Looking back at this historic event, World Youth Day in 1993 changed the cult…

Archbishop Aquila Considers Impact of Denver WYD

Here is the homily by Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver at a Mass on Aug. 15 marking the 20th anniversary of the 1993 World Youth Day in Denver. * * *
As we gather late this afternoon for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of World Youth Day…

Denver World youth day brought ‘joy,’ vitality to local church

Denver, Colo., Aug 20, 2013 / 04:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At the event’s recent anniversary, participants in World Youth Day Denver recalled how the presence of Blessed John Paul II brought joy to the local church, as well as the call to be disciples without fear.

“What I saw that day was a young, thriving, and alive Church, and I saw people who loved God and who wanted to share that love with others, and I wanted to be  a part of it,” said Cara Rhyne, a consecrated laywoman in the Archdiocese of Denver.

World Youth Day was instituted by Blessed John Paul II in 1985, and is a global event in which youths from every nation around the world are invited to spend a week with the Holy Father in prayer, and in celebration the Catholic faith.

The archdiocese of Denver recently commemorated the 20th anniversary of hosting WYD in 1993 by hosting a diocesan-wide celebration which included live music by worship leader Steve Angrisano, testimonies from previous WYD attendees, and Mass with Archbishop Aquila.

Originally from Denver, Rhyne is a member of the Marian Community of Reconciliation, and remembers distinctly how participating in the 1993 encounter with the Holy Father at the age of 13 planted the seeds of her vocation.

Rhyne stated that she was deeply moved by the words of Pope John Paul II when he told the youth that “you know how easy it is to avoid the fundamental questions, but your presence here shows that you will not hide from reality and from responsibility.”

She stated that after hearing those words, as she continued to grow in her faith, she felt “more and more” compelled to share that faith with others, and that this experience was “a seed for me to understand my call to consecrate my life. I had received a great joy and I had to share it.”

“When he asked me to follow him, when he asked me to give my life and consecrate my life, I remembered these words of JPII, ‘young people of wyd, the church asks you to go in the power of the holy spirit, to those who are near and those who are far away. Share with them the freedom you have found in Christ.’”

Rhyne, who has attended four different World Youth Day’s, the most recent was in leading a group of teens to Rio, also commented on Pope Francis’ call for a deeper theology of women in the Church, saying that “if we really want to understand what it means to be a woman in the church we need to look to our mother Mary.”

Mary’s role marks “the importance of being a faithful woman of God, a woman who is open, ready to receive, to listen to God’s call and answer it with a full heart,” she said.

“That’s the call of each one of us, in wherever we are, to go out and to love and to give of ourselves fully. To trust in the Lord, to be women of faith, that’s the call that the Lord has for each one of us; to look to Mary, to see her, to be close to her is how we’re gonna be able to do that.”

 Ana Galván, editor of the weekly Spanish television program “Fe Catolica Viva,” also gave her testimony at the celebration.

Galván, who was new to her faith at the time of World Youth Day in Denver, shared in Rhyne’s experience of seeing a young Church excited about Jesus.

“I couldn’t believe the multitude of people at my parish, at downtown. Everywhere, everybody was happy and friendly, and joyful,” she said.

“We were singing and laughing and praising, and I can still hear the echo of the people singing, or shouting ‘John Paul II! We love you!’”

Recalling the walk to Denver’s Mile High Stadium for the final Mass, Galván expressed that it was in that moment that she understood what it meant to be Catholic. “It was just amazing how everybody was joyful at that time, and I know now that then I was being Catholic.”

She shared that she has always had a special joy at having been at the final Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II, saying that “I have all my life to share with others the joy, the happiness, the proudness of being Catholic.”

Among the others who gave their testimonies were Denver native Marybeth Bonacci, who had traveled around the world giving speeches on Blessed John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” prior to his visit to the city, and Katherine Bauman, who proclaimed the first reading at the Papal Mass in Rio de Janiero with Pope Francis.

Both women shared the joy of being with each Pope, and spoke of impact that each pontiff has had on them, as well as the universal Church.

Bonacci, who after WYD wrote a book on the speeches of Bl. John Paul II, claimed that many “did not hear most of the talks,” but that “it was the grace, the holiness of the man John Paul II, it was the holy spirit working through him,” that helped open the hearts of those present to the Holy Spirit.

“He became our spiritual grandfather. And when your grandpa dies you don’t just get a new one. A new holy father comes, he will be that spiritual grandfather to the generation who went to Rio.”

Bauman affirmed this statement, saying that she was deeply moved by Pope Francis’ “simplicity and his humanity,” and that he reminded her of Jesus, and how accessible he became to us through his incarnation.

“He’s very dear to my heart now, and I know to a lot of young people’s hearts,” she said, stating that Pope Francis’ example shows that being a disciple “comes in not just big extravagant situations in our lives, but in the very most basic encounters of our everyday lives.”

The celebration was held at Denver’s John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization, which was built after the pontiff’s 1993 visit, and houses Denver’s two seminaries and the offices of the archdiocese.

On anniversary, Denver’s World Youth Day called a ‘blessing’

Denver, Colo., Aug 19, 2013 / 11:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Twenty years after the 1993 World Youth Day was held in Denver, the archdiocese has been abundantly blessed with much spiritual fruit, said Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila.

“It’s just a tremendous grace, and one can only lift up one’s heart in gratitude for the graces that the Lord has poured forth upon the archdiocese since the visit of John Paul II here,” Archbishop Aquila told CNA at an Aug. 15 celebration of the 20th anniversary of the event.

Some 1,800 people gathered at the John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization – home to St. John Vianney Theological Seminary and the archdiocesan chancery – for a Mass commemorating the visit of the Pope and over 750,000 pilgrims for 1993′s World Youth Day in Denver.

“I have seen tremendous growth here,” said the archbishop, who in 1993 was a priest of the archdiocese, and became its bishop in 2012.

“Since World Youth Day, the fruit that we have seen born are the two new seminaries, Redemptoris Mater and St. John Vianney … we’ve seen the blessing of ecclesial movements moving here: the Neo-Catechumenal Way, the Christian Life Movement, Communion and Liberation, and so many others.”

He also mentioned the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, the Augustine Institute, ENDOW, Christ in the City homeless ministry and Centro San Juan Diego Hispanic family and pastoral care center as among the “incredible” fruits of Blessed John Paul II’s 1993 visit.

“They continue to increase, they continue to grow. We see more and more of our faithful and our young people having a real desire to come to know and encounter Jesus Christ.”

While saying Mass at the gathering, Archbishop Aquila delivered a homily reflecting that “in our humility, we can only lift up our hearts and recognize the blessings that the Lord has bestowed so generously upon us.”

Noting the day’s feast of the Assumption of Mary into heaven, he said that by her ‘yes’ to the will of God the Father, Mary “trusted and surrendered herself completely” to him.

“We too are called to the same faith, to put our trust and confidence in all of the promises that have been given to us by our God,” Archbishop Aquila taught.

“My beloved brothers and sisters, my sons and daughters, the greatest hunger of Blessed John Paul II, the greatest hunger of Pope Emeritus Benedict, and the greatest hunger of Pope Francis, is the greatest hunger of Mary: that our hearts, aflame with the fire of love, constantly long for the Father and for union with the Father.”

Archbishop Aquila instructed those attending Mass to pray that they encounter Christ “ever more intimately;” that they receive a heart like Mary’s, “more receptive” to God; and for an increase in love.

“Let us also lift up our hearts in gratitude to the Father for the gift of World Youth Day 1993 and all the fruit it has borne in the New Evangelization,” he added.

The archbishop closed by citing the words of Blessed John Paul II at Denver’s World Youth Day, which he said are especially relevant as the cultures of life and of death encounter each other in the U.S. “whether it be for the unborn, the poor, the elderly, or the immigrant, whether it be for the true understanding of marriage and the family, or whether it be for religious freedom and the freedom of conscience.”

“This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel,” he said, quoting the former Pope. “(D)o not be afraid to break out of comfortable and routine modes of living, in order to take up the challenge of making Christ known in the modern ‘metropolis’.”

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Denver archdiocese: World Youth Day launched spiritual revolution

Denver, Colo., Aug 15, 2013 / 08:57 am (CNA).- In 1992, Denver was one of three American cities that had been vying to host World Youth Day the following year.

That Palm Sunday, Pope John Paul II announced the fourth international gathering of Cathol…

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  While many Catholics are regaling in the afterglow of the much-touted and “highly successful” World Youth Day (WYD) 2013 in Rio, there are signs that papal spectacles like these—“circuses” some might say—should be reassessed for their ultimate value in evangelizing Catholic youth. One young Catholic—sincere and searching for the truth but not quite sure […]

Register Radio: Treasuring WYD Blessings

By Jeanette DeMelo |
Nearly two weeks after World Youth Day, I decided I needed to do my best to keep the spirit of those great days alive. So both of my guests on Register Radio this week were a part of my World Youth Day blessings.  For those…

The Long Road to Rio: Two Franciscans’ Journey to World Youth Day

Earlier this summer, two Franciscans from the United States were in Puno, Peru, trying to beg the equivalent of $270 from the people there in order to purchase visas to enter Bolivia. 

Folks were giving, but in small incremen…

"Can a Poor Person Come Out of Poverty?"

In an interview with AICA News Agency after the 28th World Youth Day (WYD), Monsignor Luiz Antonio Lopes Pereira, coordinator of the pastoral of the favelas, or slums, of the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, evaluated the main challenges entailed in car…

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