July 23: Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, chief executive officer of Salt+Light TV and member of Pope Francis’ press team, announced in front of a group of Jesuits attending World Youth Day from the different Jesuit provinces in the United States, that letters from youth imprisoned in the three juvenile halls in Los Angeles had reached Pope Francis.He [Father Rosica] said he spoke with Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, who confirmed the letters were in the pope’s hands.July 24: Approximately 35 Jesuits are helping staff the USCCB’s Vivo Rio English language pilgrim welcome center in Rio de Janeiro, where we have been welcoming pilgrims from around the world.During my time in the Jesuit novitiate in Culver City, I had the chance to work with the youth at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar, in Central Juvenile Hall in L.A., and with the Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative and the archdiocesan Office of Restorative Justice.It was therefore a real privilege to be able to carry with us to Rio de Janeiro the nearly 200 letters that these youth wrote to Pope Francis, asking for his prayers and blessing, along with a gift for the Holy Father of a book of meditations authored by Jesuit Father Michael Kennedy, founder of the JRJI and co-chaplain of the juvenile hall in Sylmar. The letters and gift that we brought on behalf of the youth we personally delivered to Father Rosica, who graciously informed us they reached Pope Francis, who is scheduled to meet with incarcerated juveniles here in Rio July 26.More than 90 young adults and youth from nine parishes in the Archdiocese of L.A. attended World Youth Day July 22-28 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Members of California provinces of religious orders attending the event, including the Salesians and the Jesuits, also participated. Jack Krouse is a Jesuit scholastic, part of a group of more than 200 Jesuits in formation in different universities cross-country that assisted WYD organizers in Rio. For information about local parish-sponsored groups that attended WYD, visit http://www.la-archdiocese.org/events/wyd2013/Pages/default.aspx.{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0802/blogwyd/{/gallery}