My Pictures of World Youth Day 1

Days in the Diocese of Fulda: Romsthal, Bad Soden, Salmunster, Fulda

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An integral part of World Youth Day is spending time in a local diocese. I stayed with a family in the tiny of village of Stadtteil Romsthal, although we attended this Church of St. Mary in nearby Ulmbach because our host played the organ here.
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Fr. Paul Frank and I stayed with an elderly couple who generously opened their home to us. They were quite generous and excited to be housing 2 priests.
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Here is a mix of Germans and Nebraskans on a hike along lake Kinzig-Stausee, to where we will have a picnic lunch.
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After the picnic, we walked to the city of Steinhau, which is hosting a local World Youth Day Festival in preparation for Fulda and Cologne.
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Steinhau is also famous for being the home (pictured here) of the Grimm Brothers, who published their famous book of Fairy Tales.
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A tower along one of the city walls.
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I cute sculpture, probably a scene from one of the fairy tales.
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The World Youth Day festival in Steinhau was a little wet at times, but very well done, with performances many different bands, choirs and groups.
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Even the Lincoln students performed for the crowd.
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Here the Lincoln students sing a rap they wrote for the occasion.
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Visiting the town of Bad Soden, famous for its natural spring water mineral baths.
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A band was playing in the park as we took a break from our shopping and touring.
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The local parish in Ulmbach then held a Cake and Coffee reception and program for us in the afternoon. (This is the exterior of St. Mary Church interior seen in the first picture.)
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The parish even had a special ceremony in which they planted a tree and blessed a stone in remembrance of the occasion.
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We then walked on pilgrimage to another nearby town of Verzell where we celebrated Mass that evening.
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Leaving Romsthal, Fr. Coulter with our host for the last 3 days, Hartmut Rehm (Mary Elizabeth not shown).
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We arrive in Fulda, the last of our days in the diocese. If I read my German guidebook correctly, this is the StadtschloB, dating from 1706-1721, it was private residence for somebody.
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Approaching the Cathedral of Fulda. The first Church prior to the Cathedral was build in 744 and consecrated in 751 by St. Boniface. He was martyred in 754 and buried in the Church.
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The original Church was replaced by the Ratgarbasillica, named after the abbot Ratgar who began it in 791, finished in 819, it was even bigger than the Cathedral of Cologne!
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Due to its decay and danger of collapse, the Ratgarbasillica was replaced by the building we see today, consecrated in 1712, but still preserves large parts of the old church.
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When completed it was the largest Baroque building north of the Danube. Parts of the interior were probably inspired by St. Peter in Rome, including the canopy over the main altar.
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The crossing-cupola above the arch of the nave, with paintings of the 4 evangelists (by Luca Antonio Colomba).
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The high altar by Giovanni Battista Artari, who also did many stucco works on the walls and the vaults.
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The tomb of Boniface where many pilgrims come to pray. St. Boniface played a great role in the missionary work of bringing Catholicism to middle-europe. In the upper scene Boniface is being murdered with a sword. Below Boniface is trying to escape his grave. (By J. Neudecker the elder)
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The Cathedral's main organ, built by Adam Oehringer in 1708-1712 (completely reconditioned in 1996).
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The Bronx Brothers, from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, were one of the lead performers for the festival in fulda.
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A good practice for the crowds we would experience in Cologne, there were over 30 countries represented here in Fulda.
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Representatives from each of the different countries wave their flags on stage.
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A cross was constructed using bricks decorated by each country. The theme for the program was "Faces of Hope".
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This 4 meter statue of St. Boniface was erected in honor of the "Apostle of Germany" by Werner Henschel between 1830-1840.
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The day at Fulda concludes with night prayer and a candlelight vigil.

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