BRISBANE World Youth Day pilgrims were welcomed with hot chocolate, South American-flavoured Masses and visits to some of Santiago’s beautiful Catholic monuments as part of their pre-WYD week in Chile.
The pilgrims arrived in Santiago, Chile, on July 16, the national holiday for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the patroness of Chile.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel is also known as the Queen and Mother of the Military.
Hundreds of people, including the Brisbane pilgrims, visited the Shrine of Maipu, located 20 minutes from Santiago.
The shrine was built in honour of the Virgin Mother by Bernardo O’Higgins, who gave Chile independence from Spain in 1818.
Pilgrims continued to their accommodation in Valparaiso, Retiro Del Buen Pastor, before meeting their host parish Sagrada Familia (Holy Family parish).
Lorena Palma Calderon, a mother from Sagrada Familia, organised the parish involvement for the Columban Mission immersion program in Valparaiso.
“We were very nervous on the first day, but everybody is relaxed now,” she said.
The program included guest presentations from a social worker from a health-care centre that provides both palliative and preventative care for sufferers of domestic violence, and a police officer who gave an overview of the work of the Valparaiso Police Service.
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