DAYS #5-6: 7/15 & 7/16/08 - Sydney, Australia
Today was our first full day in Sydney and as a part of world Youth Day! Sydney seems to be on fire after the opening Mass yesterday with Cardinal Pell that was attended by 150,000 people! Our WYD activities began this morning with Catechist, which for many of our pilgrims was truly inspirational. It began with a relatable testimony from Sister Acacia from the Missionaries of Charity. Her testimony was very really about her struggle to find peace and how hard it was to search out and accept her vocation. Her testimony was followed by the teaching on the Holy Spirit by the youngest Bishop in the Philippines. His talk focused on the five different actions of the Holy Spirit: it leads, restores, empowers, guides, and forgives. Catechist was followed by a Mass at St. Peter’s Church.
After Mass we were welcomed outside by the parish for our first taste of WYD food. It was a mass barbeque and we met many other pilgrims from Colorado, California, and England there. After lunch the group split up into two groups to attend different Youth Festival Activities. Part of the group attended the talk on Theology of the Body/Chastity by Jason Evert and his wife Crystalina. Even though many in the group had seen him before, most had never heard his wife speak in person, and everyone really enjoyed. The second half of the group attended Conversations with the Cardinal from South America. He talked about different topics such caring for others and social justice before he had a question and answer section that was followed by a jazz performance where the Cardinal played his saxophone.
The group then came together as one to eat dinner, where we listened to a concert by some young men from California who we met in the airport. The group then journeyed to the Sydney Opera House for an Indian and Irish concert. The Opera House was beautiful and while there several of us attended adoration. The group then journeyed through Sydney to different locations for more youth festivities; people attended concerts, Bella, and a workshop on human trafficking. By the end of the night everyone was exhausted, and ready for bed, to start again tomorrow!
The St. Margaret Mary WYD Pilgrims