Texas Catholic Herald Story on World Youth Day Features UST Pilgrim Joe Bedell

The group that I went with was a group of nine students and alumni fromUniversity of St. Thomas headed by Father Mike Buentello and Sister Damien Marie. Father Mike and Sister Damien came up with the idea about going to World Youth Day in Spain about a year ago and started getting a group together to train for the El Camino de Santiago, which we hiked before [we] went to World Youth Day in Madrid.

Read more… 

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World Youth Day Photo SlideShow

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The Final Chapter

Nine University of St. Thomas students, accompanied by Fr. Mike Buentello, CSB, and Sr. Damien Marie Savino, FSE, joined nearly two million Catholic youth in Madrid, Spain for a transformative three week trip of prayer, sacrifice and pilgrimage.  After traversing the famous Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain and attended World Youth Day in Spain, they joined Pope Benedict XVI and Catholic representatives from across the world in Madrid.

For the full story visit The University of St. Thomas Success Story.

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The Holy Father’s Arrival

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The Madrid Life…World Youth Day Commences

By today, the UST pilgrims will reach Madrid, which is teeming with thousands of young Catholics from across the globe all eagerly awaiting the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI! His Holiness will arrive on the scene tomorrow – He is scheduled to enter the city of Madrid at 12:40 p.m. local time and the WYD festivities will be in full swing.

Here’s what tomorrow’s schedule looks like:

10:00 am
Catechesis sessions
WYD participants, organized by language groups, will have catechesis session with bishops from all over the world. The sessions will take place in churches, schools, auditoriums and sports centers of Madrid.

12:00 pm
The Pope arrives at the Barajas Airport

Welcome Ceremony at the State Hall

12:40 pm
The Pope enters the city of Madrid
Drive through the streets of the city in Popemobile to reach the Nunciature.

7:30 pm
Papal Welcome Ceremony with youth at Cibeles
In Plaza de la Independencia, Benedict XVI will pass through the Puerta de Alcalá with youth from all the continents. After this event, he will ride in Popemobile to Plaza de Cibeles.

9:30 pm
A Light in the Dark
After receiving the Pope in Cibeles, twelve images of Our Lady from around the world will be on display on the streets of Madrid, so young pilgrims can visit them, sing to them, and pray before them.

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To the End of the World and Back Again

On Friday we enjoyed a lovely day at Cape Finisterre with lots of beaches and mountains and cliffs – it truly was gorgeous. Now we are back in Santiago and have two days left until we depart for Granada and WYD. We will try and send more pictures when we can and also photos of our mascot – Be on the watch for him!

Today we went to “The End of the World” – during ancient times many believed that this is the place where the world literally ended.

Last week was Stephanie Rivera’s birthday – This photo is of her birthday celebration in Salas. Friday was Sr. Damien Marie’s birthday – Happy Birthday, Sister!

This is our Beatles  “Abbey Road” pose along the Camino from Melide.

This is a few of us at lunch in O Pino, with our new friend Fabio from Italy.  He is one of the many friends we have made along the Camino.

This is Fr. Mike taking a Spanish siesta!

This is Sala, Spain.

*Photos and updates provided by Joseph Bedell, Claudia Arguelles and Yesenia Guzman. By today (Tuesday), the group should be in Granada.  Keep them in your prayers today as they travel!

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Where in the world are we? Santiago, that’s where!

e made it to Santiago and we were early enough for the pilgrimage mass at noon. They had a huge thurible and swung it the length of the cathedral. The Cardinal of South Africa was there and celebrated Mass and Father Mike co-celebrated with some other priests from around the world. We will be staying in Santiago for 4 days and we will depart for Granada on Sunday. Thank you and God Bless!”

 – Joe Bedell

* At Monte de Gozo, the final frontier before Santiago.


 Photos provided by Yesenia Guzman

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Cadavo Baleira to Lugo

Lugo Spain Cathedral

Most of the journey from Cadavo Baleira to Lugo is a gradual descent into the lowlands of Spain.  The trail will take the pilgrims through Vilabade, with a 17th century church and the remains of a 15th century Franciscan monastery. It is a 17.4 mile hike to Lugo, the provincial capital.

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Update from Joe

“Hi this is Joe Bedell I just wanted to give yall an update we are currently in Melide we love the landscape here after waking up at  5, while we were hiking we were able to see a blanket of clouds covering the landscape below and we also got to see a beautiful sunrise in Spain overall we love Spain and we pray for all of you every day. Thank you for the support. God bless and continue to pray for our spiritual journey.”

– Joe Bedell

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Padrón to Cadavo Baleira

Today the UST pilgrims will be hiking from Padrón and Cadavo Baleira. The altitude of the 17.4 mile hike is between 800 and 1000 meters with no serious hills to climb.  The trail passes the rebuilt Hospital de Montouto, founded as a pilgrimage resource in 1357 by King Peter I of Castile, also known as “King Pedro the Cruel.”

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