Five pilgrims from Le Moyne College (left to right in the photo, Victoria Baranek ‘23, John Greulich ‘26, Elisa Hoffmann ‘25, Jacob Cottet ‘25, and Lindsey Bush ‘23) recently spent two weeks in Portugal and Spain participating in the triennial Magis/World Youth Day experience.
Magis/World Youth Day activities happen every three years. The Magis Program, held during the week prior to World Youth Day programming, is designed to help students from Jesuit institutions from across the globe to celebrate our Ignatian heritage. Magis participants are then folded into the larger context of World Youth Day programming with all other Catholic youth.
This year's Magis/World Youth Day programs were held in Lisbon, Portugal from July 22 to Aug. 6. When Le Moyne’s pilgrim group touched down in Lisbon, they met and prayed with fellow students from different Jesuit institutions from every continent except Antarctica! Magis participants were then split into groups for cultural encounters throughout the host country Portugal and its neighbor Spain. The Magis group went to a city on the Portuguese southern coast called Portimão to do environmental work while Le Moyne’s student pilgrims went to the Spanish cities of Córdoba and Badajoz to learn about Spanish history and culture.
Besides the cultural and historical work being presented during the Magis program, The World Youth Day activities had participants engage in deeply spiritual experiences like faith sharing, group prayer, and a pilgrimage to share the Eucharist with Pope Francis and more than a million and a half others!
While many of Le Moyne’s students and alumni have participated in World Youth Day activities in the past, this was the first time that students went as a distinct group, starting their formation for this encounter way back in January with regular meetings to pray together and to discuss everything from how we will beg alms to Portuguese history (sacred and secular) and Ignatian Spirituality.
Every day in Portugal, Le Moyne’s pilgrim group prayed for the Le Moyne community. All in all, the Magis/World Youth Day experience was a powerful experience of God’s love felt through the friendships cultivated in Portugal as well as the many profound experiences of God’s love and mercy felt through personal and communal prayer.