Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Pilgrimage to the pope

By
From page A1 | September 04, 2013 | Leave Comment

DSC_1366e

CAROLYN STRAIGHT

An estimated three million Catholics celebrated mass with Pope Francis when he visited Brazil for World Youth Day.

One of those making the pilgrimage to see the pope was Carolyn Straight, 47, of Rescue, who with her son Charles, 16, went with a group of other people.

A stay at home mom of three, Straight said they arrived on Tuesday, July 23, in Rio de Janeiro for the week-long event that included religious activities, movies, concerts, conferences and discussions culminating in a mass conducted by the pope on Sunday.

Visiting Brazil and taking in its culture was an extra bonus.

Straight said World Youth Day officially opened Tuesday evening with a mass conducted by a local bishop. On Wednesday, they toured Rio de Janeiro and went to the Cathedral Candelaria, St. Sebastians Cathedral and St. Anthony’s Friary, where they celebrated mass.

Visiting the friary was particularly moving for Straight as three generations of her family have considered St. Anthony to be their patron. “It was huge for me and a significant event for my son,” she said.

Thursday was one of the most exciting days of the trip as that was when Pope Francis arrived, with hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets of Rio. “We stood for seven hours waiting to see him,” she said, adding that it rained the whole time.

“The kids complained about waiting but it was good. We played cards and talked. I was also interviewed by lots of reporters. Afterwards I always ask the kids if it was worth it and they always say, ‘Yes.’”

She said members of the crowd were equally excited when they saw the pope, with many of them screaming while others were moved to tears. “It was unbelievable that the Holy Father was right there. He is the shepherd of our faith. He guides us, we’re his sheep. It was so cool to see him.”

Straight added that Pope Francis is very different from other popes as far as accessibility. During the motorcade, he would stop and get out to mix with the crowd, which was a nightmare for his security team. His vehicle is also open on the sides and top, she said, which is why people were throwing him hats, t-shirts and handing him babies to bless.

On Friday, Straight said members of her group visited the statue of Christ the Redeemer that sits on a granite peak overlooking Rio. That involved a short train trip through a jungle followed by haggling with motorcycle taxis over the price of a ride. But once they got to the top, they had a spectacular view of the statue and of the Brazilian coastline.

Friday night also featured a mini pilgrimage for those wanting to revisit the passion of Christ. Fourteen stations were set up with the first one re-enacting the condemnation of Christ and the last one with him on the cross.

Mass with the Pope on the Copacabana

All of these activities were a build up to the weekend. On Saturday was a vigil and mass with the pope. Straight said originally it was supposed to be held on a separate site, but because of all the rain, the site became flooded and the event was moved to Copacabana Beach. However even though the pope was a mile away, huge screens set up on the beach allowed everyone to see the mass.

On Saturday evening, helicopters hovered overhead before delivering the pope for the eucharistic adoration. “It was amazing to see that quiet, prayerful and reverent audience of millions,” said Straight.

The mass included readings from the Bible interspersed with songs, periods of silence and prayers spoken in five languages. “The prayers were short so people could meditate in between them,” she said. Some people stood, others prayed or knelt. After the ceremony, the pope blessed everyone. “In doing so, we literally believe that Christ is blessing us,” she said.

The atmosphere after the eucharist was very relaxing as people settled in on the beach to sleep. And even though she was freezing in her sleeping bag, she said the evening’s event put everyone in a different frame of mind.

“It was very calming and exhilarating,” she recalled. “It took me two days to process all that, it was so surreal. Mass with the Pope on the Copacabana. It doesn’t get any better than that. It was a beautiful, moving, and joyful night. Definitely a blessing.”

‘Go without fear to serve’

Sunday morning, everyone was awoken on the beach by the sounds of helicopters circling as the pope flew in for the mass. In the water off the beach were several warships. “The ships didn’t look right there,” she said.

Lasting two hours, the mass was conducted in Spanish and Latin with an estimated three million people witnessing it. Some people had radios that translated what was being said into English.

“The Pope’s sermon, or homily, was about Catholics as disciples,” said Straight. “‘Go without fear to serve’ was the gist of his homily. It was beautiful.”

After mass, she said their group had a small liturgy among themselves. Then on Monday they left Rio and spent four days visiting the Amazon, which her son wanted to do before they left Brazil.

Straight said this was the third World Youth Day she had attended. Previously she went to ones in Madrid, Spain and Sydney, Australia.

She credits the one in Australia with giving her “an incredible emotional and spiritual healing experience.”

“I was born and raised a Catholic,” she said, “but I didn’t practice it much and didn’t include God in my life. But at 25 I decided I wanted a better life for my son and wanted to bring him up with faith.

“To live life for Christ, not myself. In Australia, all that was taken away and the healing was complete.”

Saying the experience of attending brings “definite blessings that manifest themselves now or down the road,” she noted that attending also helps to reaffirm the oneness with her faith.

“You see millions of people who are part of your family. I saw flags from countries I didn’t even know existed. You see that unity of one big family — the body of Christ.”

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

 
Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

 
.

Letters

Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 12 Comments

Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 26 Comments

Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

 
.

Sports

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

 
First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

 
Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

 
Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

 
Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

 
Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

 
EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

.

Comics

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments