Via Media

Via Media

Last WYD notes

Some final thoughts that people have posted:

The Roamin’ Roman was cold and wet and got sick, but still had some good moments. She also said, (apropos of someone’s remark here about the NYTIMES photo montage of WYDYouth) "everyone smokes here."

Recovering Choir Director has a Juventutem report including links to photos and music notes.

Becky at Orthodoxy, Eh has some photos and marvels at the size of the crowds

Seminarian Jeff Geerling has photos and promises a wrap-up post


The Youth Ministers from the Vancouver Archdiocese:

At the end of mass, we figured that we were too far back to receive Eucharist so we started walking out of the Marienfeld area. As I was walking towards an exit gate though a priest walked straight towards me, lifted up the host, said ‘Corpus Christi’ and I received Christ in the Eucharist. Jesus came out in person to meet me as I headed on my way home from my pilgrimage. It was gave a whole new meaning to meeting Christ through pilgrimage and taking the love of Christ home.

Brandon Evans sums things up:


The secular world sees so many people gathered for Christ and asks what the real reason could be. It does not strike many people that they could actually be gathered for Christ. People try to root out what true motivations they have, and there is no lack of bad examples.

Yet what impressed me so much about our archdiocesan pilgrimage was how many youth were so genuinely interested in gathering with the Universal Church in the name of Jesus. I was impressed to youth from so many cultures who were respectful during the prayer vigil in Marienfeld, and who spent much time on their knees.

A great many–we all pray the great majority–of those at World Youth Day are there because they are serious about their faith. They are there because they are preparing to be a leaven among their peers, to be light for the world and salt for the earth.


World Youth Day, in the end, will always be plagued with those who, in the secrecy of their hearts or the obviousness of their actions, aren’t there for the right reasons. And it will always be host to the human tragedy of sin in those who go in earnest to bloom for Christ but end up taking a different road. We can only hope that the grace of God through the experience of World Youth Day eventually has its full effect. The great joy though, is that so many go to make a statement to the world that the newest saints are here, that they are ready to sacrifice their lives for Christ, that they are willing to be radically cast into the image of Jesus–and that they know their flaws and want to change them.

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posted August 25, 2005 at 12:51 am

Andrew of the Angry Twins has just returned from WYD and promised to post his experiences today. It should be a fun read!

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My Weblog

posted August 25, 2005 at 2:20 am

open book

Link: open book.

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All About US

posted August 25, 2005 at 2:23 am

open book

Link: open book.

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Gerard E.

posted August 25, 2005 at 7:32 am

Brandon….duuuuude…..lighten up after you get over your jet lag. There will always be kids attending WYD just ‘here for the party’ (title of Gretchen Wilson’s gazillion-selling country debut album.) Our Lord covered this phenomenon with the Wheat And Weeds parable. But more going on as He also noted. Seeds sown- some of rocky grown, some over lots with weeds, others that will bear good fruit. Happens over and over and over again. Story of Christianity. Look at the glass half-full. That these WYDs have rocked their immediate hosting areas. And some of the kids are making plans for the next one in Australia. That it existed in the first place, in the current global spiritual climate, is nothing more than a miracle. That the Holy Spirit has it percolating along….something a lot more…..Dry your tears and get back to work. After washing your dirty clothes, of course……

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F. C. Bauerschmidt

posted August 25, 2005 at 7:35 am

I got an email from my 14-year-old Belgian godson who, at the last minute, decided to go to WYD. I received a surprisingly breathless email from him telling of his experiences. About the Pope’s arrival he said: “he was awesome… massive cheers greeted him. the minute i saw him on the big screen beeming away and waving, i loved him. and his homily distroyed the last of my fears” (you’ll have to forgive his spelling, since English is his second written language). This is a kid who refuses to show excitement about anything but Quentin Terentino movies. I’m thrilled for him, since his daily experience of Catholicism is dreary in the extreme. As he put it in his inimitable 14-year-old way: “i’m glad to say that its really renewed my faith in this land of thirst. ’cause quite honestly the belgain church sucks“.
As to those who are shocked by people smoking — you just haven’t spent enough time in Europe. Everyone smokes.

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c matt

posted August 25, 2005 at 8:53 am

Europe and South America both. Big Tobacco’s last strongholds (they smoke like chimneys). SOmeone’s gotta pay all those billion dollar judgments Stateside.

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posted August 25, 2005 at 9:06 am

I still don’t have the final scoop from my husband and son, as they took a side trip to Normandy and aren’t back yet. They have upwards of 500 pictures and some video. They do have some great stories, some awe-inspiring, some hilarious. Everything good you’ve read about the pope and his homily was exactly true. They, and the crowds, loved him.
They went with the CFR’s, who are wonderful, but the couple hundred people they were with, well, it was an eccentric bunch, (a good chunk were South Bronx kids away from home for the first time, some of whom seemed a bit emotionally needy – those CFR’s worked non-freakin’-stop) to say the least. Since they knew my husband was a doctor, he was “on call” for “nervous stomachs”, “hyperventilation”, etc. Add to that that my husband was the only one who could speak German and the whole lot of their bus drivers spoke not a word of English and became incensed that they had to drive through those crowds, and would sometimes absolutely refuse….a laugh a minute, I tell ya.
But would they go again? Yes, they would, and they liked the idea of Sydney, as far away as that is. It can probably handle the crowds better than the three German host cities. English-speaking is another plus. And one of the spiritual highlights of their trip was the Juventutem vespers; they would absolutely sign up and go with them, it was that good, that beautiful, that reverent.

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posted August 25, 2005 at 9:09 am

Ah, but even here in America, Catholic kids smoke like chimneys. It was true of my alma mater (Ave Maria), and also I am told, true of Steubie, TAC, and Christendom. Good Catholic kids and tobacco go hand in hand. You wouldn’t believe how many take it up sometime in their freshman or sophomore year. I have one friend whose been hiding it from her parents for 4 years now.
My theory is that smoking is ‘the good kid’s rebellion’. It’s a way of differentiating themselves from their parents without actually rejecting the moral code their parents passed on to them. It allows them to feel like they’ve escaped the ‘puritan’ label and allows for opportunities to meet (and evangelise) other non-Catholic smokers.
Plus, I hear its a great way to relieve stress, stay awake when pulling an all nighter, and lose weight. Not that any of those things ever inspired me to try it.
nope. Not me. My good kid rebellion took the form of green-striped hair.

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posted August 25, 2005 at 9:46 am

How I am enjoying all the beautiful photos from Europe and hearing the stories of those who attended WYD.
God bless ’em all, and God bless Pope Benedict XVI for pointing us all to the One who makes it all worthwhile.

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posted August 25, 2005 at 10:02 pm

Thank God somebody in this world still smokes! Smoking is one of life’s simple pleasures, for those who enjoy it.
I hope to get to Europe (Rome) before I die, and if the healthy lifestyle police haven’t ruined it by then I plan to buy a pack and smoke al fresco. Aaaah, the good life!

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