Tuesday 4 October 2011
Madrid … we all went to the opening Mass, and my thoughts on WYD were turned on their heads.
Our final experience at World Youth Day Madrid 11 began long before the Vigil Mass. We started our journey to the airfield where the Vigil was going to take place.
“We are pilgrims, not tourists”. This one line from A Pilgrim’s Prayer was our continuous source of strength on our pilgrimage to the largest Catholic gathering in history.
Upon arriving in Avila, we were greeted with three spectacular beauties. The first of which, was the sight of the magnificent Avila walls. These walls surround the medieval city, and were built to provide the city a defence against any invasion. The second, a delicious fresh seafood paella dinner, made from fish that had been caught locally. The third, and possibly the loveliest of the sights to us travel weary pilgrims, was that of a comfortable bed.
Our pilgrimage to Lourdes has been an experience that I will never forget. It had given me memories that will stay with me forever. This experience was the highlight of our trip. Before I tell you about my personal experience I will give you some background to the story of Lourdes.
Friday 30 September 2011
BY Stephen Lawrence The Australian Catholic University World Youth Day pilgrimage, ‘In the footsteps of John Paul II’, began, as did Pope John Paul II’s life, in Poland. For many of us, this visit exceeded all expectations, as the faith of the nation that had endured such hardship impressed itself upon our hearts.
By Stacey Loveridge (Melbourne, Australia) and Johannes Merkl (Munich, Germany) Stacey: Before World Youth Day 2008 my parish – Sacred Heart/Emmaus in St Albans/ Sydenham – was to host 360 pilgrims from Bavaria in Germany for Days in the Dioceses. We organised activities to provide cultural experiences, such as attending an AFL match, the Queen Victoria Market and a multicultural celebration in our parish hall. I had no great expectation of this time, so was surprised to develop a close friendship with Johannes as we journeyed through Melbourne.
By Sara Coen Eighteen-year-old Sophie Cameron-Krepp admits she was naive about disability before her recent experience as a carer on a World Youth Day (WYD) pilgrimage.
Friday 23 September 2011
Watch the highlights from WYD Madrid.
Wednesday 21 September 2011
In 2008, German Johannes Merkl led a pilgrimage group to Australia to participate in Melbourne's Days in the Dioceses program before heading to World Youth Day Sydney. His group stayed at the parish of Sacred Heart/Emmaus in St Albans/Sydenham, where he met Melbournian Stacey Loveridge. The two became firm friends and, three years later, they have recently met up at World Youth Day Madrid. Here Stacey and Johannes tell their story of a World Youth Day friendship.
Friday 16 September 2011
By Fiona Basile In his book, Transformation in Christ, Dietrich von Hildebrand writes: “Unless we cultivate a recollected mode of life and recognise the primacy of contemplation, we remain essentially unfit for receiving the holy imprint of Christ.” I had been reading this book while on pilgrimage throughout France and Spain as part of the 26th World Youth Day celebrations. This quote comes to mind as I reflect upon my two-week WYD pilgrimage.
By Jonathon Zarb 2 February 2002 was a cold, snowy day in Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario, Canada. Why do I remember that day more than nine years later? Well, that was the day I first experienced the World Youth Day (WYD) Cross.