Małgorzata Gadomska: Gabriel, you are the first international volunteer in the Communication Department of the WYD in Krakow. You come from Brazil. What made you decide to volunteer in Poland for a couple of months?
Gabriel del Fiaco Bessa da Costa: It’s quite a long story. It all started when I took part in the World Youth Days in Madrid. That’s where I met Javier and became friends with him. Our exhilarating experiences there, as well as the Pope’s important words, made us want to jump into action. After the WYD in Rio we didn’t hesitate any longer. The Pope’s “I expect a mess!” inspired and motivated us with our decision.
You have already completed your first major project, would you please tell us about it?
It all started with a blog entitled “Defensoris Veritatis” , which means “The Defender of Truth”. We quickly realized though, that there was not all that much we could write, and what’s more, that there already existed blogs whose authors were doing much better than us.
One day, while discussing our ideas, we came across the website of ClericusCup (www.clericuscup.it). We decided to organise a similar project addressed to soccer teams from Catholic parishes and communities. That’s how CopaCatolica (www.copacatolica.com) was born.
We created a website and started sharing the idea with others. Despite some initial reluctance, after several games CopaCatolica started to gain approval and popularity. Today you can learn about us on blogs, websites, and even on TV. We are hoping for continued development.
I know you are not content with just one project. What are you working now on together with Javier?
Last June I went to Madrid to visit Javier and help him develop our first project. That’s when we had our next idea - MusicaCatolica (www.musicacatolica.es). Its main aim is to collect Spanish Catholic music on one online site. Musicacatolica.es is a place where you can find the latest news, information about upcoming concerts and many recordings.
Can Poles also use your ideas?
We always make sure our projects are designed in a way which makes it possible for others to use them regardless of the location. CopaCatolica can serve as a good example. We’re helping to organise an event modelled on it in Valledupar, Colombia. A similar project is planned in Krakow (Krakow.copacatolica.com).No matter where the place is, the project is designed for everybody.
What do you understand your “cybernetic mission” to be?
In Madrid we helped a parish to create their own website and Facebook account. This is how our next idea was born – to help the Church in the technological dimension, where it is clearly not coping well enough. Our digital mission lies in helping parishes, Catholic groups, communities on social networks, and through phone applications.
This summer I decided to go on a pilgrimage of shrines devoted to the Virgin Mary and one of them was Jasna Góra in Częstochowa. I thought that since I was in Poland I could offer my help with organising the World Youth Day in any way needed. I emailed the Volunteers and Communication Department. The answer was that a meeting was possible at any time. I decided to go and meet the director and coordinator. They both received my offer with open arms – and here I am!
editing: Alicja Zell, Joanna Kucharska