Religious Flag

World Youth Day happens each year around the world.  It was started by Pope John Paul II.  Every few years they have a huge gathering of the youth in one country.  In 2002 it was held in Toronto, Canada.  I joined my sister's group that was coming from Okinawa, Japan.  There was a group going from my home diocese, but it was going to cost $1800.  My trip cost about $400.  The difference?  No fancy tour bus and a hotel.  We stayed with a host family and relied on public transit.  I met my sister and the youth she brought at our host church in Misasaga, Canada.  It's a small town outside of Toronto.

The students didn't bring a country flag with them and felt out of place since all these other groups had a flag.  Even though they were all military kids they didn't want to get an American flag since they were coming from Okinawa.  We finally found a Japanese flag and they wrote "Archdiocese for the Military Services."

While walking around the main exhibit area we were approached by a man from Japan.  He inquired about our flag.  Turns out that the Japanese and Vietnam Catholics fly a different country flag when they are at events like this.  It's a way to know they are not enemies with each other.  They have a national flag that's also a religious flag.  The things you learn.

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