World Youth Day 2011 From Manila to Madrid Vigil in Ateneo

I was not able to be in Madrid for the World Youth Day 2011 because I never had a chance to have the fare and the opportunity but I was glad t know that there was the youth vigil staged in Ateneo de Manila. 

The night was packed with many young people and those who are youth in heart. Coming from different schools and parishes to experience the World Youth Day spirit. It also rekindled the spirit of the World Youth Day 1995 where Pope (Now Blessed) John Paul II visited the country and draw over 5 million people in attendance for his final mass.

The Vigil was organized by the Campus Ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila in Partnership with Jesuit Communications. The celebration is also highlighted with a live feed from Madrid and the message of the Pope to the young people of the world.

Though it started at night, I was not able to start the program because I have to go somewhere and prepare for the vigil. However, I arrived just in time when they Bukas Palad sang Tell the world of his love, the theme song of the WYD 1995. The Nostalgic moment gave me what I felt 16 years ago. It was very exciting as I also saw friends from the Student Catholic Action of PLM and CCP. It was like a reunion and rekindled good times together.

I also got the chance to hear Bishop Tagle of the Diocese of Imus sharing his insights of the the World Youth Day 2011, and he is also delighted to feel the vitality of the young people that filled the open grounds, an approximate of 15, 000 to 20,000 people.

My favorite part was the Taize prayer which has always been a great experience everytime. I remembered the time I was part of the Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth last 2010. The prayer is in preparation of the love feed from Madrid for the Pope's message.

And when it was time for the Pope to speak live from Madrid, the crowd became lively admist the sleepy morning air. His message  focused on being firm to the faith which is the theme of the World Youth Day.

When the speech ended, it was breaking dawn and in preparation for the holy mass, a set of animation songs made the crowd livelier. The mass was led by Diocese of Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco. He celebated the mass with such vigor an passion even waving and singing in the liturgy, a unique yet moving gesture of the bishop.

And at the end of the mass it was already morning and the vigil was a big success, the organizers were very thankful for the attendance and the active participation of everyone. Even though, Madrid maybe miles away, the spirit of the world youth day is alive for those who felt it back in 1995 and also to the new generation who were not yet born on those days. The Vigil was a excellent idea of bringing the worldwide celebration closer to us. And as the World Youth Day comes to an end, we are now excited for the next one that will be held in Brazil in 2013 (looks like a gran slam for them as they will also host the world cup in 2014, and the olympics in 2016). Looking forward also for the Asian Youth Day that will be held in Korea in 2013 also.

MTL hopes to cover the two events in the future as we love to be part where the youth is and where love is.

See you in the next world youth day!

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