Tuesday’s WYD summary

Here are today’s highlights over at the CNS World Youth Day blog and on the CNS homepage for WYD stories:

— Today’s big World Youth Day event, as most of you know, was the opening Mass. Cindy Wooden, our correspondent traveling with the pope from Rome, wrote our main story, and two of our bloggers have further reflections on the Mass and on Sydney.

(CNS/Paul Haring)

(CNS/Paul Haring)

— Paul Haring, our Washington-based photographer in Sydney, also has dozens of images from the Mass that our publishing clients can access as part of their subscription. We can post only a few of them on our home page, our main WYD page and on our two blogs (main and WYD), but here’s Paul’s photo of cardinals silhouetted by the setting sun as they arrive at the altar for the opening Mass.

— Dozens of pilgrims are at World Youth Day from China. Dan McAloon’s story says they were ecstatic to be there.

More blogging from WYD

At the risk of driving you away from our pages, here is some other coverage and blogging from World Youth Day that may be worth your time:

— The Florida Catholic, which serves most of Florida’s dioceses, has its own set of five bloggers writing from Sydney this week (their biographies are here). Posts so far have included items on experiences with host families in Australia and checking the Great Barrier Reef off the pilgrims’ lists of life goals.

— Another diocesan paper with a blogger in Sydney is The Catholic Sun in Phoenix, which points out that staff writer Ambria Hammel is traveling with a group of Phoenix pilgrims. The paper is putting her posts on its regular blog site, blogtcs.com.

— And most readers here probably already know about the National Catholic Register’s ongoing blog called Pope2008.com since its focus has been on not just this papal trip but on all papal travel this year, including the April visit to the United States and United Nations.

— Also worth checking are the “youth reporters” using palm-sized digital camcorders in a project sponsored by the Web portal MyCatholicVoice. Here’s a fuller explanation from the U.S. bishops’ media relations office, and here’s a link to MyCatholicVoice’s “virtual pilgrimage” to World Youth Day.

“Life without Jesus is like a doughnut…”

Doughnuts. They’re more than circular globs of fried, glazed goodness. (Yum, my mouth’s watering just thinking about it.) They’re a witnessing tool for Rob Evans.

Stephen O’Kane highlights Evans, aka the “Donut Man,” in his story Kid Track Lets Little Children Come to Jesus for the The Georgia Bulletin, newspaper of the Atlanta Archdiocese. The Donut Man was a featured performer at Kid Track, an event for children that was part of last month’s eucharistic congress in Atlanta. Evans has been doing evangelical work with children for over 20 years, but only became a Catholic in 2006.

Evans leads the children, and adults, in singalong Bible songs, stories and games. He rewards them with,  yes that’s right,  doughnuts. But Evans’ tasty moniker didn’t come from his fondness for the tasty treats, but because he lives by the profound mantra that “life without Jesus is like a doughnut — you have a big hole in the middle of your heart.” The popular Evans takes his show across the country and has performances booked through April 2009.