Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Benedict XVI to the young people: "Communicate the joy of your faith to the others"

After yesterday's multitudinous Mass at Cuatro Vientos, the young MAGIS pilgrims are heading home

MAGIS, August 22 2011- The MAGIS pilgrims are on their way back home, tired but very happy. The majority of the 3,000 MAGIS pilgrims hosted in the Jesuit school Nuestra Señora del Recuerdo departed yesterday afternoon for their home countries. They went either by coach or, if they were going a longer distance, by plane; most of them will have to travel for many hours to get home. It has been a very intense experience that began on 5 August in Loyola and finished only a few hours ago with Mass with Pope Benedict XVI at Cuatro Vientos.

Since their arrival at the school in Madrid last Monday, the 3,000 MAGIS pilgrims have been participating in many of the cultural and pastoral activities offered by JMJ. Many of them have listed the catechesis of the bishops, the visit to the Exhibition on the Paraguayan Reductions, the Taizé prayer and the little sightseeing they could do in these days, such as visiting the Prado Museum, as highlights. On Friday they had an important appointment: the screening of the MAGIS film that has been recorded by a group of professionals from the beginning of this Ignatian experience. After the screening, pilgrims attended the Via Crucis that was celebrated in Paseo de Recoletos - it was a wonderful introduction to the religious and cultural traditions of Spain for young people from different cultures.

The last two days of World Youth Day were marked by more than a million pilgrims attending Cuatro Vientos aerodrome, in the heat, wind and rain. All the MAGIS pilgrims made their way from the school to the airfield on Saturday morning to be present at the Saturday evening Vigil and at the Mass presided at by the Holy Father. In his homily, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged them to share everything they have experienced during these days: "Your friends may want to see what has changed after being with the Pope and with thousands of youngsters. I would like to invite you to give a bold testimony of Christian life to others". "Communicate the joy of your faith to others", added the Pope.

These weeks have been a very intense time for many reasons. Mariel Rodríguez from Seville, explains how she found even in the rain a sign to "remain firm in the faith" and how she appreciated the neighbours of Cuatro Vientos throwing water from the balconies to help pilgrims to deal with the heat: "in the dust, in the heat - God was in the middle of all that and among the people indeed". Moreover, she points out that the most important thing that she is taking away from MAGIS is "a lot of confidence in God and closeness to Him". She was in a social experience, with elderly people with mental disabilities in Portugal, and she says that "finding God with them was really awesome!" Jesuit, Erwin Lazrado, coordinator of the 52 Indian pilgrims, told us while he was saying goodbye to some members of his group that MAGIS 2011 "was a great experience for the heart of all the pilgrims and a chance to get deeper in their faith". He says that the principal experience they are bringing back to their country from WYD is "the feeling of being united as one Catholic Church with the Holy Father." Fr. Erwin also points out the importance of the global experience for all of the pilgrims that came with him: "They are young people from rural areas who were chosen to participate; this has been the first time they have taken a flight and they have met people from different cultures...".

The Romanian coordinator, Florin Silaghi SJ, came to MAGIS 2011 together with 38 people who have already asked him to organize an experience like MAGIS for the occasion of the "National Catholic Gathering", to be celebrated next year in Romania. His highlights from WYD were, "the possibility to choose which cultural or spiritual events we preferred to attend" and also, "how much we have enjoyed the city". Their MAGIS experiences were in Malaga (entertainment on the street), Valencia (interreligious dialogue), Manresa (Spiritual Dialogue), and also some Faith and Culture experiences and pilgrimages.

This is how the MAGIS 2011 experience comes to its end: with thousands of reflections, experiences, memories, writings, new questions and some answers. And with a common experience of feeling that MAGIS 2011 has been a new, special and deep opportunity to live "With Christ at the Heart of the World".

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI in Madrid - WYD / MAGIS News

"In this experience, our presence is more important than the language"

Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Madrid to join the thousands of young people that have come from all over the world

MAGIS, August 19th 2011- The 3,000 young MAGIS pilgrims housed in the Jesuit school, Nuestra Señora del Recuerdo are fully incorporated in World Youth Day (WYD). The school turns into a melting pot of pilgrims at 8.30am every day - this is when everyone heads to the dining room to collect their pilgrim's breakfast, given out by volunteers, many of whom are parents of school pupils. After snacking on juice, milkshake, water and a cake, they meet in their groups of origin and go to the activities they have chosen.

Many attend one of the catechesis sessions in their own language offered throughout the city; the sessions in the school hosting the MAGIS pilgrims are in English. They can also visit any of the exhibitions offered as part of WYD, or concerts, musical theatre, workshops, prayer or the Eucharist, like the opening Mass of WYD in Cibeles. The heat of Madrid and the long walks in the city can take their toll, although pilgrims have the opportunity to rest, refresh and take a moment to breathe at any of the 'MAGIS Points'. As well as being places to rest, these can be areas to gather, to meet other groups and to plan the next activities. These MAGIS points are: The school of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart (C/ Rafael Calvo); the student hall of the Religious of the Assumption (C/ Los Olivos), the school of Jesús-María (C/ Juan Bravo) and the Arrupe Centre (C/ Fernando el Católico).

Every day, tired pilgrims arrive at the college, but they have happiness on their faces. Their testimonies are proof that their experience is all worth the effort.

Sol San José is from Madrid and she is about to turn 18. This is her first MAGIS experience and when asked about it her face lights up: "It has been very beautiful so far. Despite the many things we are doing every day I am not down at the end of the day: there's nothing negative. I'm amazed by the experience and by the encounter with people and with God". Sol came with her classmate from Jesús-María school, Ana Molina: "The experience has really fulfilled my expectations: we didn´t know each other at the beginning and now we are all part of a family. We can´t do this alone, without others. Last week I was on an experience with elderly people and that was incredible. I gave and I received a lot". Nathan Vaz, from India, explains: "MAGIS has been something new for us. The language was not a barrier, as in this experience the presence has been more important than the language. The language that flows from the heart is easily understood by everyone. I spent last week on an experience, living with immigrant families. There are many people suffering in India but I never thought that the same would also be true here in Spain".

With the arrival in Madrid of Pope Benedict XVI, as he joins the young people at World Youth day, Sol explains: "To me his arrival is part of my search, as I hope his presence will bring me some deep meaning: I hope he will surprise me. Living these days together, with so many people, is so beautiful". Ana finds a deeper sense in this: "I love being here. I can find God easily in simple things and feel that people from different countries actually share the same faith. I await a gesture from the Pope to the many young people here". Lloyd Daniel is a Jesuit from India. He also awaits the Holy Father: "I feel curious to see the Pope, we all want to see him". Charlie, from France, also expects something special: "In Sydney the crowd made a lot of noise. But as the Pope arrived to celebrate Mass the people suddenly kept quiet. I'm looking forward to participate again in a moment of silence among the crowds".

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Joyous reunion of all the MAGIS young people in Madrid

The 3,000 MAGIS pilgrims join World Youth Day from today

MAGIS, 16 August 2011- Yesterday afternoon, the Jesuit school in Madrid, Nuestra Señora del Recuerdo, hosted a Mass to celebrate the reunion of all the young people involved in MAGIS 2011 who have undertaken more than 100 MAGIS experiences throughout Spain, Portugal, the South of France and North Africa. 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.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A week in the life of a priest

MAGIS - more info.

"In society, we are always trying to do new things. We live in an endless wave of desire. To come here is to avoid the vicious circle, to live reality, and to live more simply"

Young people from all over the world are preparing, this week, for WYD by participating in different MAGIS experiences

MAGIS, August 12th - Her name is Camille Van der Broek and she is French. After a weekend in Loyola, Camille arrived with a group of French, American and Spanish people at Peñafiel, capital of the Ribera del Duero in Valladolid: a town surrounded by vineyards and wineries with a medieval castle as one of its most distinguishing features. Camille is one of the 3,000 youth participating this week, in more than 100 experiences in Spain, Portugal, southern France and northern Africa, in the Ignatian pastoral programme: MAGIS 2011. Camille talks about her experience with young people from the U.S.A., Spain and France: "I was not sure what we were going to do here. The core of the experience is to discover how the "little world" of this town can enrich us and bring us to live a powerful experience. God reveals himself in a very simple experience. Yesterday, visiting the town and castle, I did not act like a tourist, because the manner in which we are now observing things is different: we have a deeper understanding of the people and look at all things in greater depth". "It's very enriching to see that everyone has a different level of faith, we seek different things without being totally different. Some find God in the other, while others look for God differently; in times of reflection and in the solitude of personal prayer. The greatest part of all of this, is that we have come together to build something that is real. I am finding God in my prayer. This was made known through my experience of God in nature: this discovery renews me. My encounter with God encourages me to seek out others, to see them; and to understand their limitations as well. It is a simple experience that is full of meaning. For this reason; here, in the simple, we see that God is working in this town. "In society ¬- in my city ¬- we are always trying to do new things. We live in an endless wave of desire. To come here is to avoid the vicious circle, to live close to the true reality, and to live more simply."

In this unique enclave of wine and Spanish history, Camille shares what she has been living: "My path to faith is recent. I came to MAGIS 2011 looking for God, but without really expecting anything. Of course, I felt attracted to Ignatian spirituality, and wanted to live it more deeply." "The days in Loyola were intense: meeting many people. It was a meeting that only made sense if seen in the context of God. This is because, as in so many other such gatherings, people come and go at such a rapid pace. Thus, what I most remember is the times of prayer, Mass and Eucharistic adoration. A gathering, such as was held in Loyola, is special: people also get together for events like the Olympics or a mass demonstration; but this is different, because of God's presence - witnessed, too, in the other people that gathered there. In Loyola, I learned to see my own limits and those of others. Moreover, I learned that I need to work on how I am in the presence of others; because the love of God is found among God's people."

Antonio Miranda, SJ, the spiritual guide for the experience in Peñafiel, explains: "It has been a great surprise, for all of us, to experience the hospitality of this land and its people. It sounds like a cliché, but we are getting much more than we give. The wine museum, the Castle of Peñafiel, knowing the culture of nearby villages such as Curiel, eating at a winery and sharing songs and poems with the elderly here: these are moments of joy, presence of God, and of living the greatness of simplicity. This is an atypical experience; and maybe that's its charm; but what we are sure of, is that the little ones are the blessed of Lord; and we have to become like children ... or elderly people, to share the dream of God".

3,000 young people will arrive on 15 August 2011, in Madrid. They will all sleep in the school Nuestra Sra. del Recuerdo in Madrid. On that Monday at 6:30p.m., the Provincial of Spain will celebrate a Mass to begin the week at WYD.

You can find a press section on the web www.magis2011.org where you can download pictures from this experience and other materials.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Gujarat group in Spain for MAGIS

 MAGIS is part of the celebrations by the Jesuits for the youth on the occasion  World Youth Day.
The Gujarat group in Spain

Magis Exhibition in Spain by Gujarat group

Visitors at the Gujarat Exhibition

The Indian group with the Indian flag

Thursday, August 11, 2011

3,000 young people start MAGIS experiences in Spain and Portugal

3,000 young people start MAGIS experiences in Spain and Portugal

This week, young people from 50 countries volunteer on different projects and make pilgrimages to prepare for WYD

MAGIS, August 9th - After a weekend living together, in the Sanctuary of Loyola (Guipuzkoa), the 3,000 young people participating in MAGIS 2011, have been divided into groups of 25 people, between 18 and 30 years old, in order to participate in one of the more than 100 experiences situated throughout Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the south of France. MAGIS 2011 is an international Ignatian apostolate for young adults from all over the world organized by the Society of Jesus, along with other religious congregations that share in Ignatian spirituality, in preparation for World Youth Day.

These experiences will bring about encounters between participants, from many different countries with diverse backgrounds, and with the communities hosting them: there will be experiences ranging from pilgrimages to contact with immigrants, caring for the environment and living out the spirituality of art. All this, so that the participants may leave their ordinary life behind and learn more about themselves and the world they live in.

To download a brief description of each of the experiences in Word, click on the following links:

You can follow the daily life of the second stage of MAGIS 2011 through social networks: on facebook you will find us on www.facebook.com/Magis2011, on twitter, you can follow us on @magis2011, or using the hashtag #magis2011.

To access the video gallery, click on www.magis2011.org/videos

To access the photo galleries, click on www.magis2011.org/photos

Moreover, there is a MAGIS 2011 blog where three new entries about the development of some of these experiences are posted every day. www.magis2011.org/blog

To listen to different podcasts about the experiences, click on www.magis2011.org/audio.

To learn more: www.magis2011.org

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ashok Vaghela and team in Spain

Ashok Vaghela S.J. and team are in Spain for the Magis programme of the Jesuit Youth group. The Gujarat Jesuits Youth coordinator Jothi Xavier S.J. is also there with a team of youth from Gujarat, India

Monday, August 1, 2011

How lovely is your dwelling

How Lovely is your dwelling place!
"Ramya Tamaro manhar sho awas..." in Gujarati was sung by Famous folk singer of Gujarat, Sarojben Gundani.
It was recorded in Jeevandarshan studio Vadodara about 25 years ago. The video was taken by Geo George SVD of Satprokashan Indore, MP. The beautiful landscape shows the real dwelling place of the Lord - Nature, not on this Temple nor in that Church building! The procession is on a Good Friday when the small community of the parish goes up the mountain. 
The place is Marykulam , Kerala, India.