First of all, we would like to thank the providence of God, through the people who want good for us, to have permitted this pilgrimage for 10 guys from Comunità Cenacolo to the World Youth Day festival in Rio Di Janero.
In the house we watched the Holy Father celebrate Holy Mass. The humility, simplicity and strength of his words strengthened my desire to know, follow and become closer to him. You can imagine my happiness when I was told I would be participating in World Youth Day. After the trip through the night we arrived early Friday morning at a parish on the outskirts of Rio di Janero. From the beginning I was moved by the happiness and smiles of the many volunteers that had been concerned about our safety, our needs, and well being during this trip. Us from the Community gave testimony with music, dance and small gestures of friendship showing the joy that the resurrected Jesus has put in our hearts. Friday evening we participated in the Stations of the Cross, a very strong moment for us that included youth from all over the world. Saturday, we had much fun at Copacabana swimming, drinking coconut milk and talking on the beach. The night vigil of the Eucharistic Adoration was the most touching and profound moment for me. The Holy Father asked us to live in silence and in the profoundness of our hearts, a time of prayer, to find again the words of Jesus inside of us. He encouraged us to not fear the cross and to live for Jesus – struggling to the end with faith for truth and justice. Pope Francis, through his words, managed to live a profound moment of adoration for more than two million youths. For sure, it was a miracle. The World Youth Day ended Sunday morning with a Mass. Unfortunately we did not participate. However, how beautiful to meet the Missionary Sisters, brothers and adolescents of the “Casa di Mogi das Cruzes”, and to share with them the joy of having the Holy Father so close to us. When we returned to our house with the people from our parish, I felt a beautiful atmosphere of friendship with many of the youth that did not know of Comunità Cenacolo and have had a wrong idea about us. However by the end of our time together they showed a great interest in our charisma and a desire to know more about our community. I thank the community and above all Jesus and Mary because today I am able to enjoy myself in simplicity without having to incur the wrong things. I understand that to put together three million youth that pray, sing and dance together without alcohol, drugs and violence in a city like Rio di Janero is possible only with the living presence of God.
I have lived in the fraternity of Jau for over five years and today I feel in my heart an immense happiness and a joy to live. The Community has taught me the true sense of life. I pray every day asking to become a better person. When I found out I would be going to World Youth Day I was very happy and felt I received a beautiful gift from God. I will never forget the beautiful emotions in finding myself together with millions of youth wanting to live the same joy and having the same desire to be close to Pope Francis. The Holy Father has dedicated his words of mercy and courage on the beach of Copacabana together with millions of hearts united in one wave of love. We felt like a living church. I want to thank with all my heart God and Comunità Cenacolo for having permitted me to having lived the this unforgettable experience.
I want to thank Comunità Cenacolo for the gift of having participated in this World Youth Day. I have felt great hospitality upon arriving to Rio di Janero, a concrete gift of providence through the work of many faithful volunteers in the parish that welcomed us having collaborated in the organization of this event. It was beautiful to live the faith together with youth from all over the world in a festive climate waiting for the arrival of Pope Francis, having already felt in the first morning to have the awareness in my heart that I am a son of God.
I want to share with you the happiness to have participated with a multitude of youth at the World Youth Day. I feel privileged to have had this opportunity to see Pope Francis and see through his gestures is great simplicity and humanness. It made me understand how important it is for the world today to hear the word of Christ. I also want to be a testimony to the word of God.
Today I consider myself to be a person blessed by God. I have lived in the Community for two and one-half years and have received the great gift to go to Rio di Janero to participate in the World Youth Day and to get to know the Holy Father. It was the most beautiful moment of my life. Three million youth from all countries of the world with one thing in common – a beautiful smile in the face and in the heart and the same desire to be close to Pope Francis. I feel to have healed many of the wounds in my heart that had made me a person alone and desperate. I thank God for the amazing gift that I received.
My name is Albert. I received the great gift to be able to participate in World Youth Day. Ten of us went from our fraternity Jau together with a group of youth from our parish. Arriving at Rio di Janero after a ten hour trip, we were welcomed at the parish of “Nossa Senhora das Gracas”. After we settled in we went to the church where the bishop invited us youth to be missionaries, and to be able to love the first to the last without having the fear of having our hands dirty. I felt a great desire to give testimony about my resurrected life in Comunità Cenacolo and my first difficulties as a missionary in Brazil, as well as to express how many things I am learning that help me open my heart to be a true friend and accept the limits of others without judgment. It was for me a great challenge in my heart but I feel the Holy Spirit has guided me. I made a friendship with a woman from Brazil who was able to help me obtain a guitar, enabling me to sing songs and perform gestis of Community. With our backpacks and rosaries in hand we took the metropolitan train where I was able to observe the “Favelas” of Rio di Janero. One aspect of Brazil that I did not know is that it is a different world than what I know of Europe. Arriving at Coppacabana, at one of the most famous beaches in the world, I was happy to see the ocean and the sea of youth that like us vibrated with joy waiting for Pope Francis. I felt a great joy in my heart that I expressed singing, speaking and sharing my life with the others. The words of the Pope struck me especially when he spoke of the necessity of sharing. The Stations of the Cross were touching and beautiful, with small representations at every station and the testimony of youth. The testimonies of a youth in a wheelchair struck me when she spoke how she met the love of God after an accident that left her paralyzed. The following day we lived together the great joy of swimming in the ocean and drinking coconut milk, two things that I always desired to do. The Pope has invited the youth to construct a church using the personal gifts of everyone. Sunday morning we returned to the beach where we met a group of missionaries with the adolescents coming from our mission of Mogi das Cruzes. It was great to get to know and share with them. The news of the next World Youth Day in Crakow filled me with joy. I must thank the Community for this gift as well as the friends from the parish Dios Corregos that offered this trip and the many volunteers that did all they could do for us. Thanks to God that He sent me to Brazil. I could become a missionary of his words. Thank you because I make a part of the church and for a possibility to do good. Thank you for these moments that I will never forget in my life.