Tonight’s main event occurred at St. Mary’s Cathedral, where Fr. Tom Rosica, CSB lead a prayer service at the human remains of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. Sponsored by CCO (Canadian Catholic Outreach), the event filled the Cathedral with pilgrims from North America, Italy, France, Chile and many others. Many of the pilgrims present, like myself, were young men who have been inspired by Blessed Frassati. “He had everything I wanted — good looks, athletic, wealth, lots of friends and every reason to live a life away from God — and yet he chose to live a life devoted to the poor,” said one young pilgrim. Frassati was called the Man of the Beatitudes and once again as this Gospel passage was read, I was reminded of the beautiful simplicity of his life. Through the evening, people continued to stream into the Cathedral as I listened to Fr. Tom speak recall stories like Frassati giving bus fares to the poor and then running home so he could make dinner with his family. At the end of the evening, Fr. Tom spoke on our behalf to Blessed Frassati, “Teach us how to be Saints for the Church and the World.”
Yet the message of the evening was not the only part that left a memory. Before the evening started, I was able to spend time with Frassati’s niece, who was present as a guest of WYD. I spoke to her about how Frassati had impacted my life through his own joy and service to others. As much as I wanted to ask her questions, she kept at me, wanting to know more about how Frassati had been a model for my life. Afterwards, I was asked to show Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight for the Knights of Columbus, around the cathedral and the Frassati display. As a Knight myself, it was a great honor to meet him. However, the highlight of the evening was seeing many friends from around the world, some of whom I have not seen in quite sometime. In fact, all day long I ran into to people I knew. Now as I reflect about the day, I realize how blessed I am to be part of a group of people who share so many common values and who are willing to travel around the world to grow in holiness and share community. There is no other way to understand this life as a gift — and what a gift it is!
Blessings and G’Day!
Filed under: WYD