Friday, August 12, 2011

At WYD Enthusiasm and Faith are Contagious

The Diocese of Brooklyn is sending an impressive 636-person delegation to World Youth Day, which is set to start Wednesday in Madrid. In a short interview, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio tells us why it is important for him to accompany his group. He says the “shot of adrenaline” that a bishop gets from witnessing the enthusiasm and faith of the young people is priceless.

Question: Why are you going to WYD?

Answer: I am going to travel to Madrid for World Youth Day 2011 to accompany over 600 youth from the Diocese of Brooklyn. This is a wonderful occasion to be with the young people of Brooklyn and Queens to witness their faith expressed in this pilgrimage and to give them direction and guidance.

Q: What do you hope the youth from your diocese and from the world get from participating in WYD?

A: It is my hope that the youth from the Diocese of Brooklyn will return home from WYD with an appreciation of the vibrancy of the Church and its universal character. Meeting young people from all over the world who share the same faith is truly an inspiring experience. To see the Holy Father and listen to his wonderful words will also give our young people an opportunity to see the Church in its fullness. Taking this opportunity to be with the youth of Brooklyn and Queens is such a privilege.

Q: What do you think are gifts that U.S. youth will bring to WYD Madrid 2011?

A: Gifts that the youth from the United States will bring to WYD Madrid, I believe, are the experience of living in the United States in its present secularized form, and yet, still expressing a deep religious Catholic faith will make an impression on those whom they meet in Madrid. It is amazing that so many youth from the Diocese of Brooklyn have worked hard and sacrificed to raise the funds necessary to make this pilgrimage of faith. That alone will be a great witness.

Q: Can you share any special moment or anecdote that touched you in any prior WYD?

A: I have been to every World Youth Day since the Year 2000. Perhaps the most special moment was seeing how Blessed John Paul II inspired our youth in such a tangible way. He became for them the universal grandfather. Pope Benedict XVI has followed this example and also has inspired youth people with clear and direct words of encouragement and instruction. The Holy Spirit was certainly present at all of the World Youth Days that I have attended.

Q: Why is participating in WYD important and how have past WYDs impacted your ministry?

A: World Youth Day is important because it gives us direct contact with some of the most promising young leaders in our diocese. These are our young people who live the faith and whom may respond to a priestly or religious vocation, and certainly the vocation to be good lay Catholics, and fathers and mothers of our families. It is quite a shot of adrenaline to witness the enthusiasm and faith of the young people of Brooklyn and Queens on this pilgrimage of faith.

+Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio

Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, USA

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