Forty Irish Magis pilgrims joined the 3,000 Magis young people from around the world for the official beginning of World Youth Day in Madrid, Tuesday 16 August, in the Jesuit school in Madrid, Nuestra Señora del Recuerdo. There a Mass was held, to celebrate the reunion of all the young people involved in MAGIS 2011 and those who have undertaken more than 100 MAGIS experiences throughout Spain, Portugal, the South of France and North Africa, attended. The Jesuit Provincial of Spain, Francisco José Ruiz Pérez SJ, presided at the Eucharist, which marked the transition into WYD of the more than 3,000 pilgrims. During the Homily, the Provincial of Spain addressed the pilgrims with the following words, inspired by the gospel reading, as it was the Feast of the Assumption: “Dear Pilgrims: there is your MAGIS. MAGIS consists in communicating the joy of Mary, our joy as well, whose authentic name is Christ, and pronouncing it at the very Heart of the World”.
After the Mass, it was time for the MAGIS Festival, a spectacle that featured performances from various groups, reflecting the content of their experiences last week. From now on, MAGIS will be integrated into World Youth Day, which will open tonight with a Eucharist in Plaza Cibeles in Madrid.
Contribution of the Society of Jesus to WYD
The collaboration of the Society of Jesus in Spain with WYD, apart from MAGIS, is in three main forms: the lending of some churches for the catechesis of the bishops and other spaces to welcome people; a vocations exhibition at El Retiro (stand no.1) with the presence of some novices; and organizing activities within the programme of WYD. Specifically, the activities are:
The exhibition, “The Jesuit Reductions of Paraguay: a fascinating adventure that was lost in time” will be open until September 9th (Jesuit church, c/Serrano 104 con Maldonado). It is a beautiful exhibition with text, photos, videos and models that explain the contribution of the Jesuits to the evangelization of the indigenous people in the area of Paracuaria (nowadays Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil) during the American colonization, and how that “adventure” continues to inspire the work of the Jesuits and the whole Church. There will also be some activities taking place around that exhibition.
- August 17th at 6,00pm. A Youth Gathering with Kike Figaredo SJ, prefect of Battambang, accompanied by a group of young people from Cambodia (some of whom have been seriously injured by the anti personnel mines) who will perform some dances from their country. Later, the musicians of the Recycled Instruments Orchestra (Sounds of the Earth) from Paraguay will play for the audience.
- August 18th at 8,00pm. A concert by Sounds of the Earth Orchestra for the occasion of the bicentenary of the birth of Paraguay, in Aula Arrupe Hall.
- August 22nd at 8,00pm. A concert by Sounds of the Earth orchestra in Arrupe Hall.
There will be prayer workshops, films, concerts and all kinds of creative activities for Christian students, organized by the Pastoral Service of Comillas, from the August 15th to 19th at ICADE (Alberto Aguilera Street, 23). The aim is to allow young Christians to reflect on their mission at university, to make them feel that university is an academic space and also a place for mission.
The third Ignatian Film Festival (TIFF), promoted by the Conference of European Provinces of the Society of Jesus, will take place in Paz Cinema (Screen no. 4). The short movies in the competition are not longer than 20 minutes and are divided into two categories: Fictional Narration and Animation, and Documentary. The general theme is “The City of God”, reflecting the absence of God in our world, in our secularized society. The timetable at Paz Cinema (Fuencarral Street, 124. Screen 4) is: Tuesday 16th, from 10pm to 12am; Wednesday 17th, from 2pm to 6.30pm; Thursday 18th, from 9pm to 12am. The awards ceremony is on Friday 19th at 4pm in the same venue.