HOW I EXPERIENCED WYD2019, Giuliana Lanzoni Domian, Girls’ Youth Costa Rica •
What can I tell the Family about my experience at Hinéni and WYD? It is really hard to decide what impressed me the most when everything is appreciated as a time of grace… but I will try and examine my heart.—
I want to begin by saying the greatest benefit to my growth I found in the small things. Especially in offering: offering my effort to serve, offering cold nights, offering an appetite for food that was not pasta, offering an open and friendly attitude to all the foreigners. All these small things formed me interiorly, little by little, as a preparation for WYD.
Service, learning, and attachments
Of course, many may ask: what about the activities, what were they like, what did they focus on, and what did you learn from them? It is important to say that I was planning the Masses for the gathering, I was in the Hinéni choir, thus, I experienced everything from a perspective of content: from within.
The entire gathering evoked a sense of Schoenstatt pedagogy. We deepened our relationship with the Father and Founder and the Blessed Mother in a unique way. We also reflected on the spiritual schedule, the covenant of love, the room shrine, prayer, and the blank check among other things.
As I mentioned before, the organizers anticipated the Vigil most among all the activities, and it was really enjoyed very much. What I liked the best was that we all had the opportunity to adore the Lord very personally in the use of some ribbons that were tied to the Blessed Sacrament and passed through the multitudes of young people. It goes without saying, that the choir gave the whole event a special touch! In addition, the testimonies were very impressive: Rosa’s and Edu’s (a missionary couple from the Family Institute), Fr. Martín’s (adviser for the Girls’ Youth from Costa Rica), the ones from a Frauen, Sisters of Mary, and the testimonies of the same girls with whom I was able to speak and who inspired courage in me and even made me question myself.
A transformative encounter
There was much more, but in my case, what transformed me the most during Hinéni was that I sealed my Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother. That Friday, January 18th, I cried like I rarely have in my life. I felt that nothing would be the same, and now that she took all my being, and I assumed all her interests…from then on I would not pray for myself, but for Christ to reign in all hearts just like she wants. I will concentrate all my effort on this truth.
Learning to live the Covenant of Love in a heroic way
It was beautiful how I could live my covenant in a heroic way at WYD, but in silence, where no one noticed…only God and Mary. The heat, sleeping on the floor, bathing in communal showers, walking several kilometers carrying packages and bags, back pain, not doing what I wanted because I was on a group pilgrimage…I could not have offered all this without complaining if Our Lady had not carried me in her maternal arms; despite my struggle, I felt safe.
There was also laughter, kidding around, and new friendships within the Costa Rican youth as well and the international young people. One of the greatest graces we saw during the final days after WYD was unity among the members of the Youth…I sensed that we are beginning to live “being brothers/sisters in Christ.” I am very excited, what great things do God and the Blessed Mother have in store for us? We are God’s now, we are not the future, no, we are the life and present that history weaves.