There’s an inflight magazine – the kind you find in the seat back pocket that already has the Sudoku finished when you get it – with a monthly feature called Three Perfect Days. It’s all about how to get the most out of a long weekend mini-vacation. Do you ever get to about Wednesday and think, “Man, I could really use a long weekend. Just a few days to get away for a change of scene, a refresher! See a new place, experience a different culture, meet some new people!” We all do, don’t we? In fact, let’s try a little “composition of place,” a little imaginative weekend holiday planning. Go on, do it now right now. Where would you go? What would you see?
Ok. Now, let’s kick it up a notch. Let’s imagine you’re not a student or an office drone. Let’s imagine instead you’re, say, the pope. You know the guy: bishop of Rome, vicar of Christ. And let’s pretend that in the job you do, getting away for a few days isn’t really getting away, it’s the job itself. And let’s imagine you’re not really looking for “three perfect days,” but about six well-planned and executed days, and the people you meet are political leaders, religious leaders, and throngs of faithful pilgrims who’ve gathered in Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day, and then let’s imagine…whoa! Too much, you say? How can anyone plan a trip like that, you say?
Well, let me take off some of the stress, because the planning’s already been done for you the pope. Francis has six full days planned when he visits Brazil this July. What does it look like? Well, it’s not exactly a vacation! In addition to presiding at World Youth Day festivities like masses and prayer services:
Pope Francis will have a full schedule of activities during his first major international trip in July this year. The schedule of his trip to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Rio2013, includes Protocol Events, such as the meeting with the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, along with visits to a poor community, a hospital, and a visit with young inmates.
Are you making your own plans for a few perfect days in Brazil this year? Several Jesuits from TJP’s staff are gearing up and making our own plans to attend. Why don’t you join us, maybe by joining a Magis/WYD pilgrimage? It won’t exactly be a vacation, and you’ll have to come to see if it’s perfect. But we can promise you this: you’ll experience something new and different, you’ll meet people from around the world and make new friends, and you’ll return home refreshed.