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News inserted on 10/10/2013

Pilgrims of the heart – The World Youth Day experience

SMSM Sisters
SMSMs joined the Marist Youth International Gathering before the celebrations of WYD in Brazil. These photos show some of the activities that took place.

On the final day they joined together at the Marist Brothers College as ONE MARIST FAMILY, for the ‘Youth Presentation’ of the Founders/Foundresses of the congregations they represented. This was followed by the panel of the four congregational leaders, with questions and answers from and for the youth. The gathering concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist and the washing of the feet by Congregational leaders. Before the end of Mass the Leaders also sent all forth to go and be followers of Jesus. It was a grace-filled moving experience.
SMSM Sisters
We join with the Pope in praying that “the Young people who participated in World Youth Day can transfer this experience into their daily journey, in their manner of being every day, and that they may be able to make good and important life choices responding to the personal call of Christ" (Angelus on 4 August 2013).

“Go out to the whole world and make disciples …” Mt 28: 19

The pilgrimage to the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in July 2013 was a great learning opportunity for me and it encouraged me in my own journey as an smsm postulant. A group of us travelled together from Tonga and joined other Marist youth from around the world.
SMSM Sisters
The first week was our Marist week led by the different branches of the Marist Family. It was great to meet and interact with other young Marists from other parts of the world. The theme focused on - the heart of Mary, the Marist heart and my heart. This time of catechesis plus the time together as Marists helped deepen my faith and clarify my identity with Mary and her family.

One of the things that really touched me during the week of WYD was seeing and feeling the presence of the Holy Father in our midst. Seeing his smiling face and his closeness to the people made me feel close to him in spirit and in prayer. It was a very special moment for me as I could feel being called again by God through the Pope’s words: “Go, do not be afraid, and Serve”.
SMSM Sisters
This pilgrimage was certainly full of challenges, and I learned a lot from it. The long travel, the different language and customs, the difficulties in communication and transportation, the relationships among the members of our own youth group, are but a few of the challenges we faced. It was through these difficulties that I was challenged and deeply encouraged.
SMSM Sisters
I wish to thank here and express all my gratitude to our SMSM Sisters and all who helped in different ways to make this trip possible and the experience unforgettable.
Malia Ma’afu (smsm postulant, Tonga)
SMSM Sisters
The Church is here
The Church is young
The Church is alive.

These words spoken by Pope Francis certainly had all the youth standing up and cheering.
Can you imagine the joyful voice of 3 million young people?

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