MAGIS 2023 preparation – ‘A very consoling experience’

July 3, 2023 in Featured News, News

Eamonn Walls SJ, Jesuit scholastic, reports on his experience of accompanying young adults in preparation for MAGIS 2023 in Portugal and Spain from 22 to 31 July 2023. MAGIS is the gathering organised by the Society of Jesus in which young adults (18-35 years old) from the Ignatian family come together from all over the world. This year, the event will be followed by World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal from 1 to 6 August. Preparations for the Irish delegation include training in Ignatian formation and discernment.

Eamonn Walls SJ says:

“As the summer months move to a crescendo, the Irish delegation for MAGIS and World Youth Day is beginning to look forward to Friday 21 July – the day on which they will travel to Lisbon. The group is composed of fourteen young adults and two Jesuit accompaniers.

It begins with MAGIS: the Jesuit preparatory programme for World Youth Day. This is a gathering of around 2,000 young people from around the globe associated with Jesuit young adult ministry.”

Eamonn continues:

“The group will experience the universality of the Church in an intimate way. After an opening ceremony, small groups of around 20 people, composed of different delegations, will travel throughout Portugal and Spain for ‘experiments’.

These apostolic experiences will assist and challenge the young people to grow in love and service of God and neighbour in one of the following areas of spirituality, ecology, solidarity with the marginalised, arts and culture and pilgrimage. When the pilgrims return from their experiments, a final Mass will be celebrated by Fr General, Arturo Sosa SJ.”

The following week, the Irish delegation will join with other pilgrims from throughout the world for the weeklong programme of World Youth Day. It will involve catechesis, prayer, communal worship and mutual encounter. It culminates with the missioning Mass presided over by Pope Francis on Sunday 6 August.

In preparation for the trip, pilgrims have participated in an Ignatian formation weekend, hosted by the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Stillorgan, Dublin.

They had the chance to discover different ways of prayer in Ignatian spirituality and to get to know each other through walks and mutual service, such as cooking for one another. “It was a very consoling experience for all,” says Eamonn.

A further formation day on the theme of discernment took place in St Francis Xavier’s Parish, Gardiner Street, Dublin. This was followed by a very well-received BBQ in the parish garden!

“Please keep the young people in your prayers,” says Eamonn, “as they journey with the Lord and with each other in the coming weeks.”