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Fairfield University Students Join Thousands At World Youth Day In Brazil

Fairfield University students Jennifer Salit (front row left, yellow tee shirt) and Jessica Estrada (far right, green tee shirt) celebrating Magis 2013 and World Youth Day in Brazil this month. Photo Credit: Fairfield University
Fairfield University students and staff in Brazil attending Magis 2013 and World Youth Day. Photo Credit: Fairfield University

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – A dozen Fairfield University students and two staff members joined the throngs of people in Brazil this week to take part in World Youth Day and Magis 2013.

The trip embodies Fairfield University’s commitment to the service of faith and the promotion of justice. This year’s World Youth Day is from July 23 to July 28 in Rio de Janeiro. It is an international celebration that will provide an opportunity for young people to meet with Pope Francis.

“I think this year’s World Youth Day provides a real opportunity for not only our students but for all young people gathered in faith in Brazil,” said George Collins, S.J., director of campus ministry. “Being surrounded by peers who are serious about exploring their faith, having an opportunity to gather in prayer and at Eucharist, doing service work and then reflecting on that experience in the company of so many different people are all just incredible gifts. I hope that our students will be inspired not only by the charismatic and energetic Pope Francis but also by the young Catholic leaders who surround them. My prayer is that they see and hear the invitation of the Lord to further embrace their faith and go forth as leaders eager to set the world on fire with God’s love.”

World Youth Day is held in dioceses throughout the world every two to three years. It has its origin when Pope John Paul II hosted a large international youth meeting on the occasion of the Holy Year of Redemption in 1984 in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

Students also took part in Magis 2013, organized by the Society of Jesus and other institutions, which began July 12 with opening ceremonies in Salvador da Bahia and continued through July 22 at locations across Brazil. The Magis initiative is a pastoral experience of Ignatian programs and events that leads up to World Youth Day.

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