Philadelphia: World Meeting of Families, Page 2 (Sep 2015)
A pilgrim reflects on his journey through photographs...
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Above, groups of pilgrims march and sing through Philadelphia witnessing to spectators, Alleluia! People were taking pictures and videos. Whether it is out of mockery or amazement, one hopes that a seed is planted in their hearts for the Lord to water and "bring to completion."
There's even dancing (!), among youths from different pilgrim groups, enjoying themselves to Christian music while waiting in line to get through security checkpoints.
An estimated 1 million visitors came for the Sunday mass officiated by the pope. At least 2 of several security entry points were heavily backed up with no coordination to inform pilgrims of other entry points. Even after waiting in line for about 4 hours, some pilgrims all the way from mission China still did not make it to the start of the Eucharistic celebration.
...still, "love is the measure of faith" as shown in the street banner above, with William Tell's statue in the background standing high atop Philadelphia's city hall. So, we still love even in disappointing moments... and find joy!
Philadelphia's city hall from another angle between 2 office buildings, while waiting for the mass to start.
What does it really take to be "truly" happy? It certainly has nothing to do with what the world offers.
While watching the celebration of the Eucharist through a jumbotron, one is immediately consoled by the first reading from Nm 11:25-29, about 2 elders who prophesied even though they were not in the tent with Moses and other elders.
Above, receiving the Eucharist at the Annunciaton Church in nearby Belmawr, NJ, which also accommodated pilgrims for the night. God bless!
That night, after the prior night's bright moon, the lunar eclipse... the pilgrimage comes to pass under the marvel at God's creation.
The Wells Fargo Center, home of the Philadelphia 76ers, also within the AT&T complex where the Phillies baseball stadium is located, is the venue for the gathering of the Neochatecumenical Way (The Way) communities after the closing of the World Meeting of Families 2015. It has been the practice of the The Way to gather right after a major Vatican-initiated event (like World Youth Day) to call on those who have been moved by the Holy Spirit during the event.
Looking at pictures of famous players of the Philadelphia 76ers (Julius Erving, etc.) along the corridors of the basketball stadium.
An estimated 30,000 attendees almost filled the stadium, coming from various states and countries, as far as China. Notice Philippine flags waved on the right foreground and on the left near the stage.
Presided by several cardinals and bishops led by Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia, with Kiko Arguello making the call, men (and boys) run to the stage wishing to be blessed and disposed to The Call. A similar call was made to women and families.
Souvenirs: a form of witnessing!
Most pilgrims make a journey to understand and "untie knots" in their lives. Let us ask for our Mother Mary's help... And as the pilgrimage nears its end, the pilgrim sings with others in the bus a prayer song to the Blessed Mother that ends with these words: "...we know that we are sinners, but pray for us, and we shall be His heritage..."