World Youth Day Brazil 2013: Brazil - country of extremes
16. Juli 2013
Unconditional beauty and absolute poverty are really close together there. Recife presents us all the extremes, but, however, hospitality and joyfulness can be found everywhere. In Salvador, we come together with the second group of Styrians, and bishop Lackner joins us.
On Friday, we visit the women´s center at Recife. Since 25 years, girls and young women from the surrounding Favelas (districts, where poor people are living) are maintained there. Several courses give girls the opportunity to learn needleworking, dancing etc. They are sent to school, and they get knowledge about their rights and potentialities. We have the opportunity to visit a Favela-community and to talk to some girls participating the women´s center - projects.
The Favelas show their real face: it is poor, but friendly. We are warmly welcomed, the people are pleased of the visit, of the guests from far away. For us - it is a picture of poverty: much work for low money; many children; young mothers; strictly poverty. Help is needed!
On Saturday, we visit the touristic attractions of Recife. We make an excursion to Olinda, where the oldest Franciscan monastery of Brazil is located. Oilgrims coming to the Journada Mundial da Juventude have free entrance! In the monastery, we meet a Franciscan brother living there.
Sunshine, the beach and the sea - that´s the program for Sunday. But, when the young people reach the beach, they are as wet as they can be - rain! No problem, the sun comes again and is drying the clothes, and the young people are in the sea - the best solution.
On early Monday morning, the pilgrims move off from Recife to Salvador. 1½ hours flighttime, a rich breakfast, and, afterwards, a guided tour into the city. Our nice guide tells us a lot about the town, and we begin to take Salvador in our hearts.
Tuesday is a day of faith. 3 participants of our pilgrimage give evidence on their religious faith to show God´s influence on their lifes, and that we are invited by him to live in friendship with him. Afterwards, bishop Lackner talkes about his faith and his way with God. The highlight of the day is the holy mass - celebrated together as community of young pilgrims.
In the afternoon, everybody does what he likes. Some go to the beach to have fun in the sun, some go downtown, and some are cleaning their clothes - different aspects of being a pilgrim.
It makes us really glad to be on the way: together with magnificent young people who want to find their way with God, in a country of contrasts which offers livingspace for many people, with gladness in our hearts coming from Jesus Christ only.