Catalonia, Spain, August 2011:
After three days hiking — dripping with sweat, longing for a shower (or even a fountain in the town square) — we’d covered more than 42.5 miles. Once we set out pads and sleeping bags, and after putting the chairs on top of the tables to free up the space underneath, there was just enough room for our thirty-plus pilgrims to fit into the two rooms of the hostel. Most of us only got stepped on once or twice that night.
After claiming my few square feet of floor space, I headed out to the plaza, and there I sat with a MiFi perched on my knee. One steady LED light told me we were tenuously connected to the Spanish cell network, and thus to the internet. And then we blogged.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 2013:
I can’t tell you the exact arrangements for connecting to the internet from World Youth Day in Rio (we’re working on predicting the future at TJP, but we aren’t there yet). What I can tell you is that contributors from The Jesuit Post will be on the ground there, working with the U.S. Jesuit Conference to keep people at home connected to the stories and experiences of pilgrims in Brazil.
About MAG+S and World Youth Day
A little more than a year ago, young adults from around the world converged on Madrid for World Youth Day. In the weeks before, MAG+S 2011 gathered together Jesuit-connected pilgrims for three days at Ignatius’s birthplace in Loyola, and then sent out almost 100 small pilgrimage groups across Spain and Portugal. I was there with six students from Loyola University Maryland. The group — experience T-3 — walked in the footsteps of Ignatius to Montserrat and Manresa. Our number included not only our Spanish leaders, but also pilgrims from Nigeria, Romania, and Slovakia, and, for good measure, one pilgrim each from Ecuador and Italy.
We learned a lot during those days. We forged friendships, talking and praying together in a variety of languages. We learned to depend on God, hiking up and down mountains, more than 70 miles in five days, sometimes on twisted ankles. We caught a glimpse of the diversity of the Church universal, sharing a moment of silence with more than a million people gathered in vigil the night before the closing Mass.
We also learned that our journey wasn’t limited to the events in Spain — our story was followed by our friends back in Baltimore and elsewhere via the blog we kept. YouTube video interviews with pilgrims were posted on jesuit.org and MAG+S and WYD organizers kept our groups connected via Facebook and Twitter.
Magis means “the more.” In the best Ignatian tradition, that’s what TJP and the Jesuit Conference will be working to bring you from Rio. More connection, more reflection, more pictures, stories, and video — more of why young people are willing to travel halfway around the world to meet each other and find God in all things, and more of what they discover when they do.
In addition to the coverage we’ll be hosting here at TJP, check out the Jesuit Conference’s WYD site, and the MAG+S 2013 and WYD 2013 sites from Brazil. Meanwhile, does anybody know a good Portuguese tutor?