Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and Auxiliary Bishops Frank Caggiano and Octavio Cisneros all went to a show with the 224 Brooklyn delegates in Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day.
Afterwards, Bishop DiMarzio took everyone out to a local steakhouse for dinner.
The show was a praise and worship concert accompanied by testimony about vocations. There were all sorts of Catholic musicians and speakers to inspire the youth to discern what God’s vocation for them. The pilgrims from Brooklyn and Queens, who made up the largest contingent from the U.S., danced and clapped along to messages of service to God.
At the end of the performances, a monstrance blessed by Pope John Paul II displayed the Living God for the audience to participate in a Eucharistic adoration. For 15 minutes during the service, the once buzzing room fell silent in reflection before the Blessed Sacrament.
“It made prayer what it should be,” said 20-year-old pilgrim Charles Maniego from Holy Family parish, Flushing. “It’s talking to God. I got so deep into it, that when I stood up, I felt chills…I forgot that there was people around me.”
“I really liked the last 15 minutes,” said pilgrim Jessica Uruchima, 19, from St. Sebastian parish, Woodside. “It was just me and God.”
After spending time in silence with God, the pilgrims broke bread with their bishops at an all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse.
“The support of the bishops is important,” said 23-year-old pilgrim Jessica Ortega from St. Sebastian’s parish. “It made us realize that we are not only representing the Church, but we are representing the diocese.”
“It was fun,” Uruchima said. “It was nice for everyone to be together… We moved around, we didn’t just stick to our parish. It’s nice because we really got to know each other, and we were not isolated.”
“I thought it brought everybody together, especially the youth, because they got to know each other on a more personal level,” said Tosha M. Eapen, a chaperone from St. Sebastian’s parish. “The priests were so available. They listened. They were very friendly.”
“We were with a bunch of priests,” Maniego said. “And I never really talked to them before. They were so unintimidating. They were joking around. It made me realize they are people, too.”