I awoke to a notification on my phone that Eunice Hii had tagged me in a post on Facebook. My traveling buddy kindly shared my Day 1 blog and her sharing of my post got more attention than my original post about my post.
I need to hire Eunice as my Hype Woman. Or at least my Public Relations Manager.
I’m blessed to be in Krakow, Poland for the next 5 days on a World Youth Day site inspection tour in advance of the big celebration in July. Our itinerary for the week consists of business meetings, site visits, and a bit of sightseeing.
Day 1 actually consisted of two days and started at 10am on Saturday when Gail and Kayla were bringing me the airport. After we dropped Sean and Jake off at bowling, we made our way to YVR and I mentioned to Gail that I would need to get out at “Domestic Departures” because I was flying to Toronto first, then Munich, and then Krakow.
I watched with great joy and amazement as I watched the live feed online of Pope Francis arriving in Brazil and making his way through the busy streets of Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day. The trek was equal parts exciting and harrowing as mobs of people took turns rushing the small car he was being transported in. While most people were content to take pictures, there were many who tried to do more whether it was touch Pope Francis, hi-five Pope Francis, or grab Pope Francis.
Whether it was a lack of planning or attention to detail, I was surprised at how easily people were able to approach the car. In particular, I was fascinated by the men providing security detail. They took turns thwarting and blocking people from the car, all while running alongside the vehicle.
This weekend was a wonderful opportunity to both look back and look ahead as I attended two amazing events (and missed a third).
On Saturday we held a 10th anniversary celebration for World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto at Good Shepherd Church in Surrey. The event was highlighted by Mass celebrated by Archbishop Michael, a barbecue and social, and informal program featuring music, videos, prayer and testimonies. It was a reunion of sorts, as I got to reconnect with old friends – some I hadn’t seen since 2002. It was great to hear numerous stories of how WYD 2002 (and the Days in the Diocese preceding it) had changed so many lives and how the event served as a catalyst for the growth of youth and young adult ministry in our archdiocese. Thus, WYD 2002 will always hold a special place in my heart, as I obtained my full-time job with the Archdiocese of Vancouver immediately after returning home from Toronto. That means it will be my 10 year anniversary as the Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry this December.