Young People in Rio – Thanks!

You did it again, dear participants in World Youth Days . . .

This was my sixth one.  Before each of them, I debate, should I go?  It’s so much trouble, travel, time; it will be unorganized and so jammed; there will be a lot of walking, waiting, and inconvenience . . . is it worth it?

Yes!  Monday morning, home safe and secure, after a glorious week in Rio, yes!   It was worth it!

You young people in Rio, you worked a miracle:  you made me young again!

Our Catholic faith is “ever ancient, ever new.”  At World Youth Days, you young people show us that the wise, tender, loving, grandmotherly Church, with teachings and traditions timeless, is also a dazzlingly beautiful young bride who enchants all of us.

In Rio I marveled at you:  standing in line waiting for us priests to hear your confessions, that dramatic occasion of the conversion of heart we all crave;

Kneeling silently before the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist;

Singing and embracing as you walked for miles in wind, rain, and chill (it was their winter);

Attentive at the three catechetical sessions I was privileged to lead, thoughtful in your questions and testimonies, so joyful and reverent at Mass;

And you got stronger, more and more enthusiastic, instead of fatigued and bored:  1½ million lining the Holy Father’s motorcade that “welcome ceremony” on Thursday; swelling to 2 million for that moving Stations of the Cross Friday; a crescendo of 3 million for Saturday’s vigil and Sunday Mass.

Copacabana, the three mile stretch of stunning beach, Rio’s jewel.  For carnivalé, Mardi Gras, it’s known for revelry and actions, I hear, less than noble.  Last week, it was the scene of prayer, virtue, friendship, Christian discipleship, solidarity in values and searching, exuberance in cheering the man who simply described himself as an “old pilgrim” among the young, Pope Francis.

You raised none of the “issues” flowing from ideologies or problems in the Church:  nothing about women’s ordination, priestly celibacy, same-sex marriage, the HHS mandate, even immigration or abortion.

You concentrated, not on issues, but on a Person:  the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ, your thirst for Him, your desire to know, love, and serve Him in His Church. He is the way, the truth, and a life! He is the answer to the question posed by every human life.

Today, back home, I’m tired, hoarse, coughing, sneezing, and out of clothes.  But, I am young again in my faith . . .

. . . thanks to you, Young People of World Youth Days in Rio! See you at the next one.

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6 Responses to “Young People in Rio – Thanks!”

  1. David says:

    I think it’s great that Cardinal Dolan had such a good time at World Youth Day and was made to feel young again by it. So I don’t want to rain on his parade. But…boy, there’s a lot of me, my, and I in the Cardinal’s post. There is, in short, a lot of the self-referential Church that Pope Francis has warned us about in the Cardinal’s message. And the Cardinal’s post really seems to miss the core message of the Pope’s visit to World Youth Day: that we need to commit ourselves again to being a Mission Church. A church that is focused on the outcast, on the periphery, on the favelas. I don’t see how anyone can write about World Youth Day without mentioning this!

    Rather than the post that the Cardinal has posted, I would like to hear his thoughts as head of the USCCB on how each Bishop in the United States can put the true message of the Mission Church to work in his own Diocese.

  2. neil says:

    Cardinal, going by Francis statement on homosexuality, why does ANY sin matter ? Who is to judge if not the POPE ? What does francis think about sodom and gomorrah ? ? Or about pedophiles in the clergy ? Could you please clarify on your appearance on cbs tomorrow ?
    This is important since francis might embrace other positions that Result in the faith of hundreds of millions of devout traditional catholics – like me – getting shattered.

  3. Marc says:

    David’s comment is perfectly stated, so, my comment is the same. but i will add, The cardinal is a reflection of who we are as a church a self centered, fat, lazy and stupid people. we want to see her shine again then we need to once again ignite faith in our hearts through prayer and repentance. Read the bible people and stop the idol worship. I wish you the peace of Jesus. Neil the media took the Popes comments out of context, read his words only not the medias take on his words.

  4. GB says:

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    Thank you for this post. Thank you for saying how you really felt about going (we love honesty), but doing it anyway (that’s real love!). Thanks for being a pilgrim with us. Thanks for being Jesus for us.

    You have done exactly what Pope Francis has asked: you noticed us. You have payed attention to us, prayed with us, walked with us. Thank you. Thanks for letting us have an impact on you; that’s real humility.

    I love what you said on the Today Show about Pope Francis setting a different “tone.” He didn’t say anything different or new, but he is focusing the tone on mercy and love. There is no denying what the Church teaches about homosexuality, the ordination of women, abortion, contraception, etc. Those doctrines will never change. Pope Francis is simply reminding us all that love and mercy are equally important.

    I just wish all Catholics were as happy and joyful as you are, Cardinal Dolan….I think we’d get a lot more people in the pews if we were all more joyful.

  5. Bil says:

    David – this is a blog, not a homily or an encyclical. Let’s keep the proper perspective here. The cardinal is as entitled as anyone, in a private capacity, to speak about his personal observations as a pilgrim Christian. To some people, our bishops are too distant and detached, and to others, they are too familial and approachable. You just can’t please everyone.

  6. Michael says:

    Your Eminence
    The Blog Rorate Caeli has published on 27th July under the heading “Bishops dance to a new tune” a video of their rehearsal for the Youth Day, which I find ridiculous. Has that rehearsal turned into a real event during the Holy Father’s visit ? Nothing has been reported subsequently.