New Zealanders show the flag at World Youth Day

This photograph, taken by a Mexican Marist priest, shows that New Zealand is literally showing the flag at the World Youth Day.

There are close to 50 kiwi pilgrims, representing all the dioceses in New Zealand, making the 19 day World Youth Day pilgrimage.

It began with 5 days in Santiago, Chile, where the pilgrims were billeted in local parishes, giving them an introduction to Chilean cuisine and culture.

During their stay in Santiago they were hosted by the St Columban’s Mission Society and were given a taste of the work the Columbans do with the poor and under-privileged throughout the city. They had an opportunity to visit the shanty towns.

The pilgrims arrived in Rio for orientation, and the opening Mass which took place on Tuesday in the cold wind on Copacabana beach and was attended by an estimated 400,000 pilgrims. Rio Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta was the presiding celebrant.

On Wednesday and Thursday the focus was on Catechesis with the Bishops

On Thursday evening (New Zealand time) there was be a Papal Welcoming Ceremony at Copacabana.

On Saturday they will take part in a Vigil Sleep Out at the Santa Cruz Air base before attending the final Mass on Sunday at Campus Fidei.

The Christchurch World Youth Day web page says that the pilgrims will begin the journey home on Monday 29, stopping off in Buenos Aires in Argentina where they will have a time of “retreat and recreation” allowing them to “unwind and reflect on the amazing past days in Santiago and the Rio WYD week.”

“We will have times of prayer and reflection while soaking up all that this city has to offer.”

On Thursday 1st August  they will board the plane for New Zealand arriving on Saturday 3rd August.




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