There are a lot of ways to keep tabs on World Youth Day happenings in Rio de Janeio, Brazil July 23-28. Certainly your social media feeds likely first come to mind, but they may not give you the global perspective that Blessed Pope John Paul II intended when he initiated the gathering of Catholic teenagers and young adults.
Local (diocesan) pilgrims are the authors behind some of the blogposts. Some live elsewhere in the U.S. Others hail from another country.
- Catholic Jacks — written by Catholic Lumberjacks from the Holy Trinity Newman Center at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. They’re headed to Machu Pichu first then Rio. Follow them on Facebook.
- Diocese of San Bernadino, Calif. — The Catholic Jacks are traveling with this group. View the bishop’s message and photos from the sendoff Mass and check in on the diocesan blog and youth ministry Facebook page for updates.
- Institute of the Incarnate Word – America — It appears a group of youth, seminarians, priests and religious from across the country and Canada met in South America for a month-long pilgrimage. They are actively blogging and Facebooking on Institute of the Incarnate Word sites.
Looks like they did some mission work in Argentina already. I’d check in on their journey every now and then. The Diocese of Phoenix has Incarnate Word priests at St. Anthomy and Immaculate Heart of Mary parishes.
- Philippines — You’ll find a plethora of updates on this online missionary site. It’s based out of Manila, Philippines. The Diocese of Phoenix has a weekly Mass in Filipino at Our Lady of the Valley Parish, so following these pilgrims should create a better picture of Catholic life, both locally and globally.
Note to blogreaders: click on each blog entry for full text, even if it doesn’t say “continue reading.”
I found an article about the effort some student pilgrims are making to attend #WYD a good read. With events happening in late July, I didn’t anticipate any conflicts with school schedules. Apparently there are. Read the article. This article on a ‘doubting girl’ who ultimately accepted Catholicism as the one true faith is also a good read.
Diocese of Westminster — This article offers a one-stop shop for #WYD updates via words, video, photo or social media.
I enjoyed the video clips of pilgrim expectations and a standalone video from a #WYD rookie, the diocese’s bishop. If I heard him right, he has never been as a priest either.
Follow them on the diocesan blog. An earlier post highlighted Lauren O’Shea, one of the pilgrims and a classified agnostic. Seeing her perspective on five days of 24/7 Catholic events will be interesting.
- Brophy — get a Jesuit and all-male perspective on this blog. Written by high school upperclassmen and two faculty members, including one Jesuit seminarian. The group is traveling with pilgrims from three other U.S. Jesuit high schools. They will visit the site of Jesuit Reductions in Paraguay first then head to Rio.
See what a Jesuit high school honors teacher from Missouri had to share about his visit to the Jesuit Reductions.
- U.S.-based Society of Jesus — Lively blogposts are well underway as Magis 2013, the gathering for pilgrims from Jesuit institutions began July 12. The July 11 post links to several websites and social media accounts to follow including @MagisBrasil, which tests your knowledge of Portuguese. If you know some Spanish, you’ll be able to comprende un poquito.
- Archdiocese of Detroit — Four teens and two adults are sharing blogging duties for family and parishioners in the Archdiocese of Detroit to follow. Other than scrolling past a large image on the homepage, it looks like there should be some good content, images and links on this blog.
- Archdiocese of Sydney — The archdiocese, which hosted #WYD five years ago, now has some 450 young people headed to Brazil. They will spend five days on outreach missions in Brazil’s Fortaleza, the shantytowns of Lima, Peru or in Cuzco, Peru high in the Andes Mountains, according to its blog on xt3.com.
Interested in blogging? It appears that xt3.com gives you video instructions on how to set up a blog through its site.
Feel free to check out some of the items you might see pilgrims wearing or trading in blog coverage by following the #PilgrimSwap hashtag on Twitter. With the world on Royal Baby watch, I’d be seeking out Great Britain’s pilgrims to get one of these bracelets. Having traveled to West Africa last year and working in the same building as a priest who spent some of his childhood in South Africa, I’d be honored to have this African memento as well.
By the way, if you’re looking for live feeds of #Rio2013, try: