The author presents Fr. Nicolas with a gift at the MAGIS 2013 gathering in Sao Salvador, prior to WYD 2013.
General of the Jesuits encourages youth to be “Ignatian people” | Allen
Ottaro | CWR blog
Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, SJ, participates in the pre-WYD program, MAGIS Brasil
The city of Sao Salvador da Bahia in North East Brazil, the first capital of Brazil was the landing point for the first Jesuits in 1549, led by Fr. Manuel da Nobrega.
In July 2013, twelve days before the start of the World Youth Day week in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Salvador da Bahia welcomed over two thousand young people from fifty countries. The youth participated in the Ignatian pre-WYD program, MAGIS Brasil, which was prepared by the Brazilian Jesuits in collaboration with other congregations of Ignatian charism and lay collaborators.
Since the late 1990s, Jesuits and other Ignatian religious have been developing innovative programs which ran in parallel with the Papal World Youth Days in various major cities, offering young people spaces for prayer, service and companionship. Prior initiatives have included Loyola XXI in Paris in 1997, Horizon 2000 in Rome in the Jubilee Year, ANIA in 2002 at Toronto; and then MAGIS in Köln in 2005, Sydney in 2008 and Madrid in 2011; all participating alongside the official World Youth Day programs.
I was blessed to be one of the over two thousand pilgrims, gathered at the Jesuit high school, Colegio Antonio Vieira, first being a three-day opening gathering in Sao Salvador, where all pilgrims were received, welcomed and introduced to the program. The second part was a one-week missionary experience divided into five categories: Pilgrimage, Ecology, Spirituality, Art, Socio-Cultural Insertion and Social initiatives. Each category had someone, Brazilians or non-Brazilians as an inspiration, people who have testified their life stories to life and evangelical service. For example, the American missionary Sister Dorothy Stang was the inspiration for the ecology experiences and is remembered for accompanying the life and struggle of the field workers and indigenous communities in Brazil, with determination and solidarity, especially in the Trans-Amazon region. There were about 70 experiences all over Brazil, with twenty to thirty young people from at least three nationalities, and a team of people accompanying them.
The third part of the program was the gathering in Rio de Janeiro, in preparation for the start of the official World Youth Day week. The gathering provided a wonderful opportunity for pilgrims to share their experiences from the missionary week, and to get ready for the main WYD events that included the official opening Mass and the welcome ceremony for Pope Francis.
The MAGIS 2013 opening gathering in Sao Salvador, was blessed with the presence of Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, Superior General of the Society of Jesus. Besides presiding over the opening Mass, Fr. Nicolas also had the opportunity to meet with young representatives of the fifty delegations.