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Prayerful Goodbye from GUADALAJARA, Onward to Madrid


By Ajoy Fernandes sdb
Mumbai, Aug. 17. The days in the Diocese of Guadalajara were officially brought to a close with Bishop Atilano Rodriguez of the Diocese of Siigiiuenza-Guadalajara presiding over a solemn concelebrated Eucharist at the central Concordia Park.  About seventy concelebrants of different nationalities, two thousand Worl Youth Day (WYD) pilgrims, and another two thousand faithful of the diocese participated prayerfully despite the blazing morning sun. Each of the nationalities present was featured by their representatives bearing their national flags.
Presenting Mother Mary who faithfully witnessed to her faith, Bishop Rodriguez exhorted the WYD pilgrims to abide by their faith despite others who may scorn or discourage them. Encouraging the youth to be models of Christian living, he commissioned the pilgrims to join the world-wide WYD pilgrimage at Madrid headed by Pope Benedict XVI.
Post-Eucharist, the two thousand WYD pilgrims leisurely proceeded to San Roque picnic area where they were treated to a typical Spanish meal.  The scene of groups sharing a meal on the green hillside was reminiscent of Jesus feeding the multitudes. Sharing a common meal and spirit, we are all set for a more extensive participation with another 1.5 million WYD participants at Madrid.
The Salesians, clergy, citizens and youth of Guadlajara deserve a big thnaks for their kind hospitality. They have initiated us to Spanish culture and traditions, and have set the tone for a prayerful and reflective WYD celebration. Now, the baton will be faithfully carried on to Madrid.
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