Day 3 at World Youth Day for the Messenger Eagle Team

07/25/2013 Comment

Rio's weather has been cool and wet, but the spirit of WYD participants is undampened.


Well on Wednesday it was still raining — three days of rain with three more in the forecast. Still our spirits cannot be dampened. 

On Wednesday I sat with other moviemakers on a press conference panel to discuss the emergence of arts in media for Catholicism. There is a lot going on but also a lot left to be desired and the other side is vicious and unrelenting. You must be careful and understand that there are many within our boundaries who call themselves Catholic but being Catholic is the furthest thing from their intent. They intend to minimize the authenticity of our faith by making relativistic arguments.

You must study and know the authentic faith and follow the leadership of...READ MORE

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World Youth Day Special With Joan Lewis and Father John Paul Mary Zeller

07/24/2013 Comments (7)

MP3 2

Elena Rodriguez

From left, Father Miguel, Doug Barry, Father Mark and Father John Paul at Corcovado.

– Elena Rodriguez

EWTN’s live radio show Countdown For World Youth Day, hosted by Elena Rodriguez and Thom Price, on Tuesday July 23 featured Joan Lewis reporting from Rome about the Pope Francis' departure for WYD, and his arrival and upcoming agenda in Rio de Janeiro.

In the second part of the show, Father John Paul Mary Zeller of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word and the Register’s Jeanette De Melo joined Elena in the studio in Rio.

Elena interviewed a Puerto Rican pilgrim, who accidently ended up being on the street when the Pope passed by coming from the airport. He had the blessed opportunity to see Pope Francis up close.

Father John Paul talked about how walking through Rio with...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, new evangelization, pope francis, register radio,, world youth day

WYD Firing Up the Next Generation of the Faithful

07/24/2013 Comments (1)
Jeanette DeMelo

– Jeanette DeMelo

The Church is on the shoulders of this generation … and they’re ready,

So Day 2 has come and gone, complete with the international premiere of our film The Blood & the Rose (or in Spanish La Sangre y La Rosa, as it is being shown down here with Portuguese subtitles.)

What was striking about the showing was that among the groups of those in attendance, a group from Sydney who did not speak either of those languages stayed for the entire film and were very much affected by its message, very excited to learn even more. They are ready to be Messenger Eagles, among the many hundreds of thousands of youth already here ready to go out and “make disciples of all nations,” the call from Pope...READ MORE

Filed under brazil, catholic faith, new evangelization, pope francis, world youth day

Prayerful Trip to an 'Imperial Chapel'

07/24/2013 Comment

Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Neb., and WYD Rio pilgrims after Mass at Our Lady of Glory Church.

A misty cloud cover descended over the city of Rio on Tuesday, Day 2 of our pilgrimage for World Youth Day.

After meeting up with our Lincoln priests and young pilgrims for a ride across town on the crowded metro, we made our way to the parish Church of Our Lady of Glory, a beautiful classical-style church known as one of the “Imperial Chapels.”

We prayed Morning Prayer together in the piazza outside the church, as we waited all morning for our scheduled time for Mass. The church had excellent acoustics and was just perfect in size for our group of about 70. Our young pilgrims have learned all the Latin parts of the Mass and have beautiful voices.

On the Church’s liturgical calendar...READ MORE

Filed under #jmj, #wydrio2013, bishop james conley, brazil, catholic faith, pilgrimages, pope francis, world youth day

Pilgrims Throng Copacabana Beach for Opening Mass

07/24/2013 Comments (2)
Jeanette DeMelo

WYD pilgrims from Austin, Texas, attend the opening Mass on Copacabana beach.

– Jeanette DeMelo

A half-million pilgrims flooded Copacabana beach last night for the opening Mass of World Youth Day, celebrated by Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro. The event marked the official start of World Youth Day.

Archbishop Tempesta welcomed pilgrims during his homily: “This marvelous city became more beautiful with your presence.”

“Infect everyone with the joy and the peace of Christ, as sentinels of the morning, working for the renewal of the world in the light of God’s plan,” he told the throng.

The head of the Church in Rio spoke of his gratitude that his city is “the first place to welcome the first apostolic journey of the first Latin-American pope in history.”


Filed under #jmj, #wydrio2013, brazil, catholic faith, jeanette demelo, pilgrimages, pope francis, world youth day

Lessons Learned From the Favela Tour

07/23/2013 Comments (1)
Justin Bell photo

– Justin Bell photo

On Monday, our group with the Boston Archdiocese was split into smaller groups of 12 or so and we were taken by van to the favela Santa Marta in Rio. “Favela” means plant and it is the word for the densely constructed neighborhoods or shantytowns in Brazil that house some of the country’s materially poorest people.

We were brought there by the knowledgeable tour group, Soul Brasileiro. One of our three guides, Paulo, is a resident of Santa Marta. We also found out, much to our surprise, that artists, lawyers and other professionals live there. These native Brazilians encouraged our questions and it was great to talk with them along the way. This was not a hurried tour, with a 25-minute...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, favela, pilgrimages, pope francis, poverty, world youth day

Messenger Eagle Lands in Rio

07/23/2013 Comments (2)
Juan Pablo Arancibia Medina/ Wikipedia Commons

Aerial view of Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro.

– Juan Pablo Arancibia Medina/ Wikipedia Commons

I am a Messenger Eagle.

At least that is what I am shooting for.

We departed Baltimore for the 14 hour and 30 minute journey to World Youth Day on Sunday, July 22,  arriving in Rio around 9am Monday, July 23. We were revved with excitement and anticipation. Once we cleared customs, got our bags, made the journey to the hotel, and ate lunch it was 2pm. Our first day’s goal was to get to the world famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

If you have never heard anything about this statue, it is well worth the Wikipedia search.  

We climbed through windy roads and into the clouds (with a stick shift no less) and found our way to the top.

Sadly, the clouds had drifted in and we were left...READ MORE

Filed under #papafrancesco, #rio2013, #wyd2013, rio 2013, world youth day 2013

Feeding Off the Youthful Enthusiasm for Christ

07/23/2013 Comments (2)

Bishop Jame Conley of Lincoln, Neb., and the pilgrims from his diocese pose for a photo on the Copacabana beach in Rio.

Well, I made it safely to Rio yesterday morning, via Dallas — 11 hours in the air! While this is my sixth World Youth Day pilgrimage, it is my first visit deep into the heart of Catholic Latin America.

The flight was filled with young Catholic pilgrims from all over the United States. There was an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation on the flight.

In the afternoon, I joined up with our young pilgrims from Lincoln, Neb., and seven of our diocesan priests who are accompanying our group. They have spent the last seven days participating in “Days in the Diocese,” staying with host families in and around the city of Petropolis, about an hour outside of Rio. We took a long walk along...READ MORE

Filed under bishop james conley, catholic faith, diocese of lincoln, nebraska, world youth day

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About WYD Witnesses

WYD Witnesses
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The Register's coverage in at World Youth Day in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil includes blog entries from a variety of pilgrims--from regular Register correspondents and staff to seasoned filmmakers to a priest and bishop leading their flock.

WYD Witnesses bloggers include:
Bishop James Conley, Bishop of Lincoln, Neb., who is a veteran at WYD, having attended in Denver, Paris, Rome, Sydney, and Madrid.
Father Matthew Gamber, S.J., theology teacher at Jesuit High in Tampa, Fla. Leading a group with 52 students and teachers from Jesuit to WYD Rio.
Tim Watkins, the director of the documentary film The Blood & The Rose, and president/CEO of Renegade Communications headquartered in Hunt Valley, Md.
Chris Kudialis, a Register correspondent, who lives in Detroit and whose work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Raleigh News & Observer, and Mundo Cristianois, the last of which featured coverage of 2011 WYD in Madrid, Spain.
Justin Bell, a Register correspondent, who lives in Boston and at WYD is embedded in a national group of about 20 deaf participants and leaders, along with hearing interpreters, who are traveling with more than 100 from the Boston archdiocese.
Jeanette De Melo, the Register’s editor in chief, who resides in Denver and who covered WYD Toronto in 2002. She's traveling with EWTN's television and radio crew.