Reporter’s WYD Diary (with slide show)

by Antonina Zielinksa

On the first full day of WYD, the pilgrims from the Diocese of Brooklyn, still tired from the opening ceremony the night before, started out their day early in their morning with catechesis in the Love and Life Center.

Drowsiness did not keep them from participating in the music played by the Franciscan Brothers, the catechesis and the Mass.

Pilgrim Rebecca McCarthy said her experience in catechesis this time was very different from WYD 2008.

“In Sydney, the catechesis was much smaller and more personal,” she said. “So I didn’t think I would like this one as much.  I ended up loving it because even though there was so many people we were still as united in faith as my small group in Sydney.”

Pilgrim Angie Curo, from SS. Peter and Paul, Williamsburg, said the sheer volume of youth continued to amaze her.

“Seeing youth from all over the world who are genuinely happy and exited to be on a pilgrimage motivates me to become a better Catholic,” she said.

In the evening, the pilgrims gathered together to share a meal with all the chaperones, priests, seminarians and their three Bishops: Nicholas DiMarzio, Frank Caggiano, and Octavio Cisneros.

At the end of the dinner, Bishop DiMarzio told the pilgrims that they have fulfilled his expectations.

“You have made me proud,” he told them.

The bishop said that other bishops have complimented the Brooklyn diocesan delegation’s unity and affirmation. He said he is proud of them for representing the diocese well by chanting together and being so fully engaged in the WYD activities.

The pilgrims gave bishop a standing ovation before and after the meal.

“It’s so great to hear that we have made Bishop DiMarzio proud,” McCarthy said.  “It didn’t seem like we did much but have fun and unite more in faith.  It can’t believe that’s all it took.”