"Over the weekend, the Holy Family World Youth Day group had a chance to both spiritually prepare ourselves for our trip to Brazil, and better acquaint ourselves with the Ukrainian Catholic church from Hamtramck, MI that will be joining us on our adventure! It was a beautiful day that allowed us all to pray together to make our group ready to embrace the WYD theme and “go out and make disciples of all nations”.
To start off our day, we listened as a group to the theme song for WYD 2013, which provided for prayer and reflection to get us kick-started for our day! You can listen to the song by watching this video, it is the English version of the original song done in Portuguese.
We also read the reading from the Gospel of Matthew that introduced us to the WYD theme to “go out and make disciples of all nations” (MT 28: 16-20). After the reading, we had a chance to do some personal reflection on what the reading is trying to tell us and why we personally think this was picked as the WYD theme. After our personal reflection, we split into small groups to share our thoughts and ideas. Overall, we discussed that it is important to physically go out and spread the word of God to all people, no matter who you are or where you come from. We discussed that the theme was most likely chosen in order to inspire youth to actually spread the joy of the Church across the entire world, and not just keep the joy within.
Following our group discussions, we went on our own sort of Emmaus walk in groups of two in order to both get to know each other better, and also to reflect with another pilgrim on why we are personally making this journey to Brazil. It really got us all thinking about exactly what we hope to experience at WYD and got us all the more excited to get on the plane to Brazil!
To close up our daylong retreat, we spent a good amount of time in the chapel silently praying with Jesus. With so much talking and busy preparation, it was really nice to sit down and enjoy the peace and serenity of the chapel in Holy Family. After our time in the chapel, we came back as a group to listen to the WYD theme song one more time and reflect on what the Lord taught us during the day. When the day came to a close, we all looked around and realized how beautiful our group is and how excited we are to become a family together in Rio. Considering our relatively small group of people help to represent America, Ukraine, and –with the help of Father Daniel– Brazil, we are our own mini international Catholic Church! After this weekend’s retreat, our entire group is definitely ready to pack our bags and learn even more about “going out” and being a disciple in Rio!!"