#tbt- World Youth Day

by | Aug 1, 2013 | Uncategorized

Throwback Thursdays allow us to be grateful – whether that be for SuperSoakers, labor laws or for the youth of the church, those in whom “Christ has confidence… with the very future of his mission.” It is no secret that World Youth Day enables the Spirit to move so many young people close to God and their neighbor.

Now, the number of “yutes” who attend each installment is staggering, and this year is no different. For example one million persons were at the opening Mass at a soggy Copacabana this year. Basically, that is all of Boston and all of Saint Louis attending Mass on the beach together. Then the grand finale at the same “Popacabana” drew three million people to the beach. THREE %&$^$! MILLION PEOPLE. Of course, part of the beauty of Pope Francis is that while he can speak to the masses with ease, he can also make each person feel like the only one in the world, especially if one is poor.

But you’d have to combine those Masses hit JP2 level liturgy. Today’s Throwback Thursday remembers a Guinness-certified record by a Guinness-certified record-breaker. On January 15, 1995, soon-to-be Pope Saint John Paul II celebrated Mass for the faithful in Manilla in front of an estimated FOUR MILLION PEOPLE , which, for anyone counting, is more people than  there are inhabitants of Los Angeles. People couldn’t see the actual liturgy, but darn it, if the pope’s there, then they were going to be too.

Here are some scenes from that final Mass, emphasizing the local church’s responsibility to be a “vibrant community” and peacemakers.

Haven’t heard that “John Paul Two, We Love You!” cheer in a while. Feels good, doesn’t it?

Can’t have a major international event without a theme song, can you? Here’s “Tell the World of His Love” by Carrelle Mangaliag and Jeff Arcilla.

We all know that the Church isn’t perfect. Yet when the Spirit has summoned millions before and continues to summon millions today from all over the globe to come together to manifest the Kingdom, I think that the church is still well on the way to perfection.



Courtesy of flickr user marcjohn.de


Vinny Marchionni, SJ

vmarchionni@jesuits.org   /   All posts by Vinny