LOCAL CATHOLICS TREASURE WORLD YOUTH DAY JOURNEY TO FRANCE.
Byline: JAMES BEMIS
For 14-year-old Aimee Janik, it was the papal Mass and candlelight vigil A candelight vigil is an outdoor assembly of people carrying candles, held after sunset. Such events are typically held either to protest at the suffering of some marginalized group of people, or in memory of lives lost to some disease, disaster, massacre or other tragedy. .
For her sister Michelle, 17, it was meeting teen-agers from all over the world who share her faith.
For their mother, Marilyn, it was the charm of Chartres and the wonderful French churches, resplendent re·splen·dent
Splendid or dazzling in appearance; brilliant.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin resplend with artwork and timeless beauty.
Having just returned from their trip to France as part of Catholic World Youth Day, each of the Janiks has her favorite memory. But they all agreed that this was the trip of a lifetime.
The Janiks traveled with 40 local youths and chaperones. The ``pilgrims'' were led by the Rev. John Sigler from St. Rose of Lima Saint Rose of Lima, (20 April, 1586 - 24 August, 1617), the first Catholic saint of the Americas, was born in Lima, Peru. Biography
St. Rose was born April 20 1586, in the city of Lima, the capital of Peru. She received the baptismal name Isabel Flores de Oliva. Church in Simi Valley Simi Valley (sē`mē, sĭm`ē), city (1990 pop. 100,217), Ventura co., SW Calif. in an oil, fruit, and farm region; laid out 1887, inc. 1969. and the Rev. John Love from Moorpark's Holy Cross Church Holy Cross Church could be:
After an all-night flight from LAX to Paris, they were bused to Chartres, where they stayed with local families. Madame Thirouin and her family proved to be charming hosts, making the Janiks feel as welcome as cousins.
The next morning, the family walked to the great 12th-century Chartres cathedral Chartres Cathedral
Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Chartres, one of the most influential examples of High Gothic architecture. The main part of this great cathedral was built between 1194 and 1220. , an incomparable work of Gothic art. Historian Henry Adams calls its gorgeous spires, looking like two sets of prayerful prayer·ful
1. Inclined or given to praying frequently; devout.
2. Typical or indicative of prayer, as a mannerism, gesture, or facial expression. hands extending toward heaven, ``the most perfect piece of architecture in the world.''
Inside, Marilyn said, the vaulted ceilings and stained-glass windows were breathtakingly beautiful. ``She couldn't stop taking pictures,'' Aimee recalled.
A Saturday night dinner gathering and an international songfest song·fest
A casual gathering for group singing. made the perfect place for the girls to make new friends. ``We met three girls from Poland, all of them named Magdalena,'' Michelle said.
That Monday, they boarded a train for Paris - an occasion the Janiks found both exciting and sad as it meant parting from new-found friends.
``I left my straw hat with Madame Thirouin's granddaughter,'' Marilyn said, ``and told her I'd come back to get it someday.''
Arriving in muggy mug·gy
adj. mug·gi·er, mug·gi·est
Warm and extremely humid.
[Probably from Middle English mugen, to drizzle; akin to Old Norse mugga, a drizzle. weather, they soaked up the charms of Paris, touring with Eric Pierre Smee, a thin, black-haired Frenchman, alternately charming and devilish dev·il·ish
1. Of, resembling, or characteristic of a devil, as:
a. Malicious; evil.
b. Mischievous, teasing, or annoying.
2. Excessive; extreme: devilish heat. . ``Come on, you must keep up!'' he demanded, before breaking into a grin as wide as a Parisian boulevard.
The next two days were dedicated to study of Catholic history and faith at the Church of St. John the Baptist John the Baptist
prophet who baptized crowds and preached Christ’s coming. [N.T.: Matthew 3:1–13]
See : Baptism
John the Baptist
head presented as gift to Salome. [N.T.: Mark 6:25–28]
See : Decapitation , followed by a packed Mass at the Sports Arena. Everywhere were people with World Youth Day badges. Pins were swapped for those of other nations and, Aimee proudly recalled, the ones from California were particularly prized.
Finally came the opportunity to see the Holy Father. The pilgrims arrived six hours early at Longchamps Race Track, hoping to find good seats. They planted themselves on the grass behind a section reserved for priests and watched as the crowd filtered in and the stadium filled - resulting in a two-hour line for the bathroom.
Suddenly, Pope John Paul II Pope John Paul II (Latin: Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Italian: Giovanni Paolo II, Polish: Jan Paweł II) born was there. The ``Popemobile'' meandered slowly through the crowd along a snakelike route cleared for for pontiff. As the crowd rose in greeting, the Holy Father smiled and waved, enjoying the enthusiasm of his youthful supporters.
He addressed the crowd in several languages, performing baptisms and confirmations before leaving for the evening to rest before celebrating Mass the next day. The Janiks tried to settle in, but the excitement of the pope's visit, along with the continuous singing and luminous beauty of the candlelight vigil, made for a restless night of little sleep and much talk.
Early-morning music and then a roar from the crowd signaled the pope's return to celebrate Mass. Estimates were that 300,000 would attend, but as Michelle looked behind her, she was ``overwhelmed by the masses of humanity.'' More than 1 million people had arrived, far exceeding expectations.
The Mass, lasting nearly three hours, was ``beautiful, inspiring, and went by too fast,'' Marilyn said. It ended with the crowd yelling ``Viva el Papa!'' as the pope left a flock of tired, wilted but nourished souls.
The final vacation stop was a side trip to Lisieux, the village famous for St. Therese, one of the church's most beloved saints. Then the pilgrims took the bus to the airport for the 11-hour flight home - a trip filled with memories, new jokes and tall tales.
The pilgrims arrived home broader in vision, deeper in knowledge, stronger in belief. Catholicism may be known as the Old Faith, but it's also the Young Faith: A million people at World Youth Day testifies to that.
G.K. Chesterton said that you can't really appreciate a Catholic church from the outside, but if you look through the keyhole Through the Keyhole is a light-hearted panel game, hosted by Sir David Frost where panelists are given a video tour of a mystery guests property and attempt to identify them. The guests are people who are in the public eye. , you'll see that it's gigantic within, each one containing a 2,000-year legacy of history and tradition.
For the Janiks, their pilgrimage offered them a peek through this keyhole, where they caught a glimpse of the richness and beauty of the Old Faith that lies so near to their hearts.
Photo: Pilgrims from St. Rose of Lima Church in Simi Valley and Holy Cross Church in Moorpark visit the magnificent cathedral at Chartres, France, as part of Catholic World Youth Day.