Follow along as Busted Halo® correspondent Mark Irons & Paulist seminarian Jimmy Hsu, CSP, bring you reflections, videos, photos and more from the front lines of World Youth Day in Rio!
Click this banner to see the entire series.
The End… Or Is It?
Ever wondered what it’s like to have mass on a beach with 3 million of your best friends? That’s kind of what it’s like on the beach today. Incredible energy and excitement as the final mass of WYD 2013 begins. While the beach was jam packed, a group of Peruvian pilgrims welcomed Busted Halo into the space they had camped last night. And it turns out that one of those pilgrims is a classmate of mine at Catholic University!
And to cap off the experience, I noticed during mass that the organizers were in desperate need of ministers to distribute communion. And so I was able to offer my service to distribute communion at a mass with the pope! And let me say, I thought there was no end in sight for the communion line. I was simply told to take two containers of the Blessed Sacrament into the crowd, as far as I can go. When I ran out of host, which was way after the communion service had finished and the bishops had begun to talk on the stage, there were still many who had not been able to receive. It was the best experience of the whole trip, to encounter the people and minister to them, brining them the sacrament of the Eucharist. It really affirms me in what I feel I’m called to do. I can’t wait to be ordained as a deacon next month and be of service as a deacon.
Above is a final picture of Mark and I on the beach, with an umbrella given to me as a gift for helping with communion (it was used to indicate to the pilgrims where the communion stations are). And while Mark and I are finishing our trip, it’s not over. The theme of this WYD is “Go Make Disciples of All Nations.” And so now, it’s all of us who have the responsibility to live the message — as disciples focused on mission. Stay tuned to Busted Halo for more videos documenting our exploits in Rio. Now, it’s time for the airport again!