My life and my thoughts - on faith, culture, politics, whatever comes to my mind

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

World Youth Day 2005

The World Youth Day is a Catholic festival for – as you guessed already – Catholic youths. Young people from all over the world pilgrimage into a city where they have mass, discussions, arts and concerts. And lots of fun.
This year it is in Cologne. Which is 20 minutes by train from Bonn where I live. And it is right now. As there are too many young pilgrims to house all of them in Cologne, both Bonn and Düsseldorf got their share. So Bonn is currently swarming with youth from all over the world. I love it. I participated in Christian festivals several times and I always truly enjoyed them. And none was as international as this one is! I’ve so far seen groups from Germany, Italy, France, Uruguay, Brazil, Latvia, Poland, the Philippines, Malaysia – just to name a few. Yesterday there was the opening mass in a park right here at university – 100 000 people attended according to the police!
My beloved and me went for the concert in the evening. So many people and so much fun. Especially the Italians keep the fun going. They are constantly singing... The Pope will arrive in Cologne tomorrow. I don’t think I want to be in Cologne tomorrow – 400 000 will probably be heading there.
I know many people wonder if these teenagers and young adults come for spiritual things or for fun. I am absolutely convinced that as much as they come for fun, they especially come for spiritual things. Festivals always include lots and lots of fun – and that’s a good thing. But I know from my own experiences at huge festivals that we always came to learn more about God and to worship him.
It is interesting to see it from a slightly different perspective. Not only that I am not Catholic, but I am also not a participant. So this time I see it from the perspective of the chosen city’s citizens. I still enjoy it.
And there are so many nuns here. Nuns have always fascinated me. It’s really interested to see all their different clothes, although I can never match them with any particular order; I don’t know enough to do that. But I enjoy watching them and the fun they have.
And even though I disagree with Catholics on more than one dogmatic question, it is wonderful to see so many people here to worship Jesus. The motto is: Wir sind gekommen, IHN anzubeten (We have come to worship HIM).

The picture is from the newspaper Bonner Generalanzeiger.