Sunday, October 01, 2006

John Bosco Youth Day, 'Post Lunch'

After lunch we had half an hour of MORE music and games, which was followed by a talk by Susan Conroy. In 1986 she spent the summer in Calcutta to work with Mother Teresa. She told us about life in Calcutta, at night in her room her floor would be covered with huge cockroaches, the walls were lined with lizards, the water was filthy, the meat was filthy, but it was still a wonderful experience. She got to work very closely with Mother Teresa and Mother Teresa's joy was so contagious that everyone working with her was joyful too. She also got to meet Pope John Paul the Great. It happened like this.

JPII visited Calcutta the same year she did, but she missed him by a matter of weeks. Years later, she was in Rome for when the Holy Father made St. Therese, the Little Flower, a Doctor of the Church. She had translated a book on The Little Flower and was hoping to give her autographed copy to the Holy Father. After the ceremony there was a general audience, but it only fit 7000 people, and there were a great many more than 7000 there for the ceremony, so you had to have a ticket, but she didn't have one. So she and a Belgian priest she was traveling with were standing outside, talking and praying this prayer:

Little Flower
Show your power
In this hour.

And while they were praying, someone came up to them and gave them tickets for the General Audience, and not only were they tickets, they were front row tickets. Out of 7000 people only the people in the front row get to go up and meet the Holy Father. So she got to go up and meet him, and kiss his hand. And she was very lucky, she was with a very talkative priest who started talking to the Pope, so she got to stay there, in his presence. And then the priest said to the Pope, I have written a book about the Little Flower and she (Susan Conroy) has translated it. So she showed him the book and he said "I have read this." So they both gave him autographed copies.

This talk was followed by a short talk by a youth minister, a video on the Wisconsin Youth Rally and two teens told us about how much fun it was. Then we had a half-hour break and a short talk by Fr. Stan and another short talk by Martin Doman on prayer. Next we had adoration. It was so cool, we sang the refrain of O Come All Ye Faithful, the same tune with different words, O Salutaris Hostia, Tantum Ergo and Holy God We Praise Thy Name, all without instruments; 2000 people singing songs that were already beautiful. It was the coolest feeling.

Next came Mass, said by Archbishop Dolan. He gives such great sermons. He started by talking about how there are many greatest evils in the world, but basically sin is the greatest evil in the world. And then he reminded us of some saints who died rather than sin, St. Cecilia, St. Agnes, St. Lawrence, St. Maria Goretti and St. Dominic Savio, who wasn't killed for the faith but whose motto was "Death rather than sin."

Before Mass was quite over, Fr. Don thanked everybody involved and after each everyone cheered. When he thanked the speakers, it took about 10 seconds for everyone to stand up to give a standing ovation, when he thanked the Archibishop it took about 5 seconds for everyone to stand up and when he thanked Our Lord Jesus Christ, everyone stood up right away.
And to top off the day after recieving communion from the Archibishop, we got to go and say hi to him after Mass.
It was such an awesome day, and I certainly plan to be there next year.

No comments: