Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mangaloreans Follow WYD on EWTN

Catholic Television Helps Mangaloreans 'Participate' In WYD Programs

July 22, 2008
Joannes Rodrigues, MangaloreJoannes Rodrigues, Mangalore.
MANGALORE, India (UCAN) -- Joannes Rodrigues desperately wanted to attend the World Youth Day (WYD) in Australia, but could not raise the funds.

However, the 22-year-old Catholic from Mangalore, southern India, did "participate" in all major WYD events, thanks to Eternal World Television Network (EWTN), a Catholic television channel.

"I had a great desire to attend the World Youth Day in Sydney, but could not afford to go there. However, I compensated for it by watching the programs on EWTN," Rodrigues told UCA News on July 21, a day after the international Catholic event concluded.

Rodrigues, who wrote in an Internet log, or blogged, to publicize the channel locally, said many youngsters viewed the WYD programs on the U.S.-based Catholic broadcasting network.

The channel started beaming to Mangalore homes from Sept. 8, 2007, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which local Catholics celebrate as a harvest festival. Mangalore diocese paid local cable operators 385,000 rupees (US$8,860 then) for a year's subscription.

Mangalore, a port town and a Catholic stronghold, lies 2,290 kilometers southwest of New Delhi.

Father Victor Vijay Lobo, who brought EWTN to Mangalore, told UCA News on July 22 that the diocese offered the channel to local Christians as a gift. It is "one of the largest Catholic media networks in the world, transmitting programs 24 hours a day, reaching 123 million homes in 140 countries," he said.

The priest noted WYD's top viewers in Mangalore were youths and retired people. In some families women watched the program before their children returned from school in the afternoon. However, most families watched the WYD programs together, he added.

Christiana Lobo, 20, said she watched the vigil with the pope, the Stations of the Cross and the concluding Mass in Sydney. She added that many local youths knew about the live telecast and closely watched the Sydney crowd for a glimpse of their Mangalorean friends on the TV screen. "We could not see them but got a faded view of Indian flags and one or two Indian faces," Lobo said.

The 510-member Indian delegation that left for the July 15-20 international Catholic gathering included seven from Mangalore. Hundreds of thousands of youths flocked to Sydney for WYD events.

Another ardent WYD watcher back home was Lenus Sequeira, 21. He told UCA News he could get into the "mood of the event" by being with the crowd through EWTN. "I missed a chance to go there but I compensated for it through the channel," he said.

Sequeira also said he was thrilled to hear the pope call on youths around the world to unite and give witness to Christ. "I was especially touched by his humility to apologize for the sexual assault on children by some Catholic priests," he added.

Rodrigues, a local member of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement, said he skipped all other programs to stay home to watch "almost all major WYD events" in Sydney. He found the Way of the Cross through the Sydney streets "a very prayerful experience" and said he recorded many events for his friends who missed them.

Reproduced with permission from UCA News (

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The people who attended the WYD should have posted some pictures for the world to know more about the event. I think the entire world should know what is happening around us. That's evangelisation..