Their celebration of Catholic faith starts on Aug. 5 with MAGIS 2011, a three-day pastoral experience organized by the Society of Jesus in Spain, where students have been gathering from around the globe at the Sanctuary of Loyola, St. Ignatius’ childhood home in the mountains near the Basque country.
From there, the groups will spend a week in various locales in Spain or Portugal doing social service, ecology and spiritual pilgrimage. The event is being co-sponsored by many religious organizations, among which are the Sisters of Charity, the Inigo Network, the Xaverian Missionaries and other lay movements.
On Aug. 15, the Fordham group will join some 400,000 youths and members of religious communities from every continent as they gather in Madrid to participate in the weeklong World Youth Day (WYD). The annual event celebrates the message of Christ through gatherings at emblematic sites, and will include a Papal Welcoming Ceremony on Aug. 18 at the centuries-old Plaza de Cibeles in downtown Madrid. Pope Benedict XVI is expected to travel through the Madrid’s streets by popemobile and to receive the keys of the city from the mayor.
This year’s WYD participants will also be able to see Caravaggio’s The Deposition at the Prado, on loan from the Vatican Museum for the event.
The Fordham group, organized by Carol Gibney of Campus Ministry and Roxanne de la Torre, (FCRH ’09, GRE ‘11) will be blogging and tweeting their experience daily. You can follow their journey at http://fordhamwyd-madrid11.blogspot.com/.