Monday, July 14, 2008

Christ Seen as Key for Youth Day

Franciscan Friars Hold Adoration Marathon

By Catherine Smibert

PERTH, Australia, JULY 13, 2008 ( Christ is key for the success of World Youth Day, according to the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

The friars from New York organized a 40-hour Eucharistic adoration marathon at All Saints Chapel in Perth's central business district this week.

Brother Columba Jordan, 30, who had at least 1,000 youth participating in activities, said adoration is a powerful way of helping youth realize Christ's presence in the Eucharist.

"Benedict XVI asked young people in his World Youth Day message to pray for a new Pentecost for Australia, and young people can't do that without spending time with Christ," said Brother Columba, who found the courage and clarity to follow his calling at the international youth day held in Rome in 2000.

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"The whole point of World Youth Day is helping young people to have an encounter with Christ," he added. "If not, it's pointless."

Brother Columba says that even in his previous life as a Web designer, he always felt the calling to religious life, but lacked the courage until World Youth Day.

"That's what World Youth Day is all about," agrees young pilgrim, Nacho Quijano from Santander, Spain.

Quijano said his trip to Australia is not as a tourist, but to "encounter the Catholic reality in Australia and to meet Catholics from around the world."

Nacho, who traveled Down Under with a group of 30 others from Spain, said they have prepared for months to "discover that the message of the Church is universal."

"I look forward to meeting the Pope," he added, "receive his message and make it my own."

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