Young people learn about participating in the international Church event to be held in Brazil next year
Some 120 young Catholics turned up at the Church of St Ignatius on Oct 26 to learn how they can participate in World Youth Day 2013, which will be held in Brazil.
The MAGIS World Youth Day (WYD) planning committee, which includes volunteers and staff of the church as well as Catholic Youth Office members, gave an overview of the entire programme they are organising for pilgrims.
This includes a spiritual preparation segment, called MAGIS, to be held in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, from July 12-21. Participants will then fly to Rio de Janeiro for the WYD programme proper, which lasts from July 23-28.
Organisers told the crowd that participants will have to attend the MAGIS segment, which is a spiritual experience for young people based on Ignatian Spirituality.
“Magis”, Latin for “more”, is a word popularised by St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits. He had encouraged those who follow Christ to examine their ability to do more for Him and, in turn, for others.
WYD organisers told participants that MAGIS aims to help participants realise what it means to be a pilgrim – for which Christ is the guide, humanity the subject of God’s love, and the world a place for following Christ.
The MAGIS experience will include conferences, talks, fellowship with other pilgrims, prayer, games and rallies.
Jesuit Fr James Tan, assistant parish priest at St Ignatius Church, also shared about his previous experience as a WYD pilgrim and how he benefited from a prayerful communal environment during which God spoke to him in the quiet of his heart.
This sentiment was echoed by previous WYD pilgrims who shared their experiences via video.
One question raised during the information session was whether non-Catholics were welcome to attend WYD. The answer was a resounding yes.
Organisers also gave information on administrative matters such as travel plans, insurance and registration procedures.
Mr Colin Sng, a youth coordinator with the Church of the Risen Christ, said he found the session “very informative and gives me a clearer picture of what MAGIS and World Youth Day is all about”.
He added that learning about the MAGIS programme challenged him to depend on God “rather than my own strength”.