What a wonderful day in Rio. The backpack fiasco is finally over! And the U.S pilgrim gathering was tonight. So let me start out by saying that John is back to go through all the details with those who follow our wonderful blog.
Today started out at 10:00 A.M. so very nice to sleep in after that 5 O'clock rise and shine yesterday. We opted out on breakfast to sleep in a little longer. When we met up in the lobby with the other pilgrims we decided that our fearless and wonderful leaders: Fr. Daniel and Ben, would go out and try to get us our pilgrim packs that are so important, because without them we would not be able to get into the vigil site. And while that was going on our little group of 6 decided to go to the subway to get to the market( the underground one not the food place). When we got there we realized that this market was not the "farmer's market" that we visited in São Paulo but, rather more of a shopping mall in the streets only 10x more people and 100x less room. We looked around for a while but decided that we didn't need to buy anything. It's not that they were expensive( most everything was priced very well) but because we were s prepared for this pilgrimage even before we got on the plane in Detroit. I swear that out little group of five people is the most prepared out of all 5 million pilgrims in Rio de Janeiro! After we decided to stop walking around aimlessly we got a little hungry and went back on the Subway to get some pizza front the very good and now familiar pizza parlor near our hotel.
But before we boarded the Subway we got a call from Ben saying that they got really lucky( or blessed) and that they finally had our pilgrim packs. Oh man if only I had my camera out when Patty heard about it! She can make the most surprised expressions ever! We all jumped for joy and should in the middle of the subway station. After that we broke into an Our Father and thanked God for his blessings. The awesome thing about it was that us jumping for joy and praying loudly did nothing to phase those around us, a priest from Argentina even crossed himself and joined in queitly nearby. We then went to grab some lunch. When we returned to the hotel we got out packs and then hopped on taxis to take is to Vivo Rio which was a gathering of all pilgrims from English speaking countries. When we first got there I have no idea how we managed to slip by and get into the Austrailian part of the event without even realizing it. Later on we found out that another group of Americans had done the same but had gotten kicked out. When the Aussies cleared out it was time for the US gathering to commence. There was a awesome Christian band that played some of our favorite Christian music. And then there were special guest speakers. There was a married couple who talked on the vocation of Marriage, a Religious Sister who talked about that special calling, a religious Brother who shared with us the story of his vocation, a priest who shared his vocation, and finally the Bishop from Juno Alaska.
Then there was Eucharistic Adoration with a special monstrance that was one of 6 blessed by Pope John Paul II for the use of Adoration with vocations as a focus. It was very special and that experience with God was in my opinion the best part of the trip so far. Everyone got a little emotional and the music and jumping almost shook the building to pieces. We rode the subway back and now we are prepared for an awesome day tomorrow. Because tomorrow WE GET TO SEE THE POPE! (Hopefully!) good night everyone, I will be blogging again tomorrow night and I will be doing sort of an interview with all the other pilgrims in our group to share their personal experiences with you.
So Chao and Boa Noite!
- John WYD pilgrim Rio 2013