Sunday, August 04, 2002

World Youth Day 2002. Toronto Canada. Please keep in mind that this is ONE PERSON'S PERSPECTIVE, and doesn't reflect any on the Catholic Church or the City of Toronto. Please forgive me if I spelled your names wrong; I was never that great with English Comp.

Instead of a day-by-day, blow-by-blow account of EVERYTHING that happened, I opted for a condensed version.

1) Windsor as a whole. Father Jim took us to the Casino, and we took in a production of Songs for A New World. Sister Barb gave us pilgrim pins that had visited holy sites around the world. A couple of the parishners hosted us in a pool party. The Quennvilles took such great care of me. The Schillers took us to the art museum and to the ending place of the Underground Railroad, but I especially loved just hanging out with them and listening to their stories. The Frateax family when above and beyond in helping me get back to Windsor when I got sick. I can't describe how dear I hold these people to my hearts. I will always speak so highly of Windsor Ontario because of how great they were to us, and I never will forget their kindness.

2) Catachesis sessions. For three morning we were treated to lectures on church law and dogma, known as Catachesis sessions. I should explain that these catachesis sessions tied into the theme of WYD, which is taken from the gospel of Matthew: "You are the Light of The World, You are the salt of the Earth." Bishop George of Chicago spoke about salt. Bishop Lobo of Pakistan spoke about being the light of the world, the future of the church. Finally, Bishop Ramirez spoke about Catholicism and culture as well as our need to respect the elders of our various cultures, as his lecture fell on the Feast Day of Joaquim and Anne, Christ's grandparents.

3) Way of The Cross. The Stations of the Cross was reinacted on the streets of Toronto featuring live actors. The guy who played Jesus was amazing.

4) The Malaysians. This fun group stayed at a parish nearby to us in Windsor. They were always happy and helpful and fun to hang around with. Also, what a set of pipes! These kids could sing the hell out of anything!

5) The welcoming ceremony of Pope John Paul II. The Pope looked great, I got to see a little bit of the Popemobile, and was overcome emotionally after he blessed us. It was awesome, you could feel good vibes all over.

6) St. Nicholas Ukraninan Church and St. Michael's Cathedral. After a few days of sugar-coated Cathoicism, excursions to these beautiful architectural marvels were very refreshing. At St. Nicks, we attended a fascinating lecture on The Eastern Catholic Church and it's martyrs. At St. Mike's we saw a replica of La Pieta sculpture and attended a lovely, simple Mass.

7) Jeff. Jeff was our Canadian whom got to go with us because we had an extra spot. Jeff was such a trooper. He was the youngest of all of us. He was never cross, he never complained, and I must say he put a hell of a lot of trust in us, in that he didn't know us very well, and we didn't know where the hell we were going.

8) David. Dave was our navigator. He was good. I was glad he was along, as John had to oversee all the group, and I have the sense of direction of dirt. Dave also kept John entertained, which gave me a bit of a break. :)

9) The doctors and nurses of St. Michaels Hosptial. You guys really are gifts from God. Your patients are lucky to have you. Thanks for taking such good care of me and my friends!

10) The Better Half. I've already said this, but he was amazing. He made an incredible leader.

That's about it for now. Coming soon...WHAT WASN'T SO COOL.

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