Sunday, November 30, 2008

From WYD 08 to World Youth Day 2011

Last Sunday we had a reunion meeting of those of us who went to Australia last July to take part in World Youth Day 2008. We were meeting to plan our diocese's participation in the next World Youth Day which will take place in Madrid, Spain in 2011. Here's a bit of our experience in Australia as pilgrims to WYD 08.

There were six of us who went as the diocesan component of this huge, international pilgrimage. The six of us are pictured below outside of the parish church in Taree, north of Sydney, where we spent the "Days in the Diocese" portion of our pilgrimage.

Along with me there were Robert Twa, Fr. Danilo Rafael, Harmony Langraff, Melanie Giambattista and Kristen Schneider.

But we were part of a much larger group, having joined the pilgrims from Prince Albert Diocese.

Among the many things that a World Youth Day expierience involves, it is fundamentally a pilgrimage, a spiritual event in which we celebrate our Christian faith as Catholic people. So we were in many places of prayer, from the Cathedral in Brisbane,
To a small chapel in Lamington Rain Forest National Park,

to our parish church in Taree, in the Diocese of Maitland - Newcastle, north of Sydney
to a world wide outdoor gathering of the youth of the world with His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.

We met all sorts of great people like these three from our group.

in all sorts of experiences

meeting all sorts of creatures such as this Koala bear

even walking on the top of the Rain Forest.

Experiencing different cultures. The Australian Aboriginals were very much evident throughout all the activities of World Youth Day.

I had the opportunity to renew aquaintances with bishops I had met previously. On the right is Bishop Gianfranco Todesco, the Bishop of Malfi in Italy who is standing with Cardinal Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney and the host to the world for WYD 08.

The most impressive part of the whole WYD experience were these people and the hundreds of thousands like them who came from all over the world to pray with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict, to celebrate the Eucharist with him and to hear his words of instruction and guidance.

And now we are preparing for the next World Youth Day which will be held in Madrid, Spain.

I would hope that we can have at least 100 young people, if not 200! from our diocese take part in this wonderful faith experience.

Information will be coming out shortly from the Youth Ministry Office of the Archdiocese and information meetings will be held soon. Until then, "via con Dios, amigos."

1 comment:

Secular Heretic said...

I hope you had a great time in Australia. I attended WYD also.

Cardinal Pell, one of the cardinals in your photo has recently launched a book as a record of WYD.

I wrote about it on my blog.