Getting ready for the crowds in Rio

Our time in São Paulo is coming to an end and we will be very sad to say goodbye. But we certainly made our last full day here an exciting and fullfilling one. Starting off lectio divina with our Saint Judas Family. We are loving the liveliness of Brazil but the quite time of reflection was really nice. The contrast between vibrant atmosphere here and the stillness of the morning made it even more special. We also had a chance to catch up with our small groups. Our generous Parish organised a volleyball game at the children’s center – Brazil vs Austrália – and a Brazilian BBQ for lunch. The early afternoon was either spent with our loving host families, at the Sacred Art Museum or at the men`s shelter which was a very rewarding experience for those involved. The highlight of the day was at the holy mass with the Archbishop of São Paulo and about 100 000 pilgrims from almost 80 differente countries.

A view from the stage! Sam: I had the amazing fortune of being able to assist with the ceremony and represent Australia. At the end of the mass, I held part of the WYD sign on stage with the Archbishop etc. It was an awesome feeling being up there with them and seeing the vast amount of people from the stage. I could see the variety of flags and the unity of the people which make us `One in Christ`.

The excitment in the crowd! Marina: There were so many people! They were already trading suvenires from their coutries and taking photos with fellow pilgrims. We couldn’t see everyone but it felt surreal to celebrate mass with so many people. As usual mass in Brazil was a lively affair and it felt like a family reunion that turned into a party. The walk to and from the mass was even more lively with each country making their presence know with chants that demontrated their Faith and patriotismo.

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