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Voices from Copacabana beach during pope’s visit

July 28, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Voices from the crowd at the Catholic church’s World Youth Day:


Josh Dirberger, 21, a student from Denver, Colorado:

“It’s an amazing feeling. I had never been in a crowd this size, never seen a million people in one place. It’s great to be with so many Catholics and learn it’s not just our little parish in Denver. We are huge and we’re all over the world. The pope is showing us that we can live by the teachings of the church and not by what’s fashionable.”


Larissa Miranda, 20, a law student in Rio de Janeiro who hails from a small city in Rio state:

“Since I moved to Rio two years ago, I have not been as active as I once was. I used to go to Mass every week but now I go every other week, if that. But this event had made me realize that I need to get active again and get back to church every week.”


Luis Vides, 25, a student from Villavicencio, Colombia:

“We have to advertise Jesus Christ, evangelize. That’s the mission the holy father has given us. Those of us who participated in the World Youth Day can’t keep anything bottled up. We have to go out and speak with people, take this experience we’ve lived here back to our communities.”


Elieser Capangue, 21, an economy student from Luanda, Angola:

“This was an inspirational moment in my life. Seeing the pope close up, hearing the words out of his mouth was unforgettable. After this, I’m going to get more involved in my church. I’m going to follow the advice of the pope and seek out the less fortunate people in my country and share the experience I had during the World Youth Day and the lessons that we received from the pope.”


Father Jean-Luc Zadroga, a Benedictine monk who was leading a group of students from a Catholic university in Latrobe, Pennsylvania:

“The Brazilian people have a warmth about them that’s so wonderful, surprising, unusual. It really helps make it so all the inconveniences aren’t that important. It’s a really friendly crowd. We never felt like we were in danger. It was like an outdoor festival, just full of optimism and happiness.”


Jose da Silva, 75, a retired farm worker from Rio who supplements his meager income by collecting empty cans:

“I’m pretty surprised that people who call themselves Christians would throw away all this food. You’d think that they could at least put their garbage in the bins.”

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