The St Vincent de Paul Society is known for a great many things – providing service to the poor and marginalised, the ‘Vannies’ that provide the comfort of a hot meal to the homeless and, of course, who can forget the Vinnies Stores, where there’s always a great buy.
The hospitality offered to visiting Days in the Dioceses pilgrims by St Dominic’s Parish in Camberwell included an interactive morning on the themes of faith-inspired service and justice.
Volume 19, Issue 13-14
The John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family hosted several lectures on Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body for World Youth Day pilgrims as well as offering a series of nine lectures on Pope Benedict XVI’s second encyclical, Spe Salvi.
The atmosphere was electric, the colour was brilliant and the spirit was infectious. Pilgrims came and were commissioned to go and make disciples of all nations.
The just ordering of society and the State is a central responsibility of politics. As Augustine once said, a State which is not governed according to justice would be just a bunch of thieves: “Remota itaque iustitia quid sunt regna nisi magna latrocinia?”
Aspiring rockers from Victorian Catholic schools belted it out at the ‘Wanna Be a Rockstar’ auditions, held on Wednesday 9 July.
Sydney Catholics, of all ages, who lived through the events of World Youth Day have different stories to tell about it all, depending on which part of town they were in. Those welcoming pilgrims at the airport in the week leading up to the festivities, were treated to the sight of young people carrying banners and icons of Jesus and Our Lady into the arrivals section, to be met with local groups singing ‘Alleluia’ and the words of psalms.
Good Samaritan Hall at Roxburgh Park was transformed into a miniature Filipino village during Days in the Dioceses. Our Lady’s Parish, Craigieburn, hosted nearly 400 Filipino pilgrims, and Good Samaritan Hall became the hub.
After years of preparation and anticipation, World Youth Day Sydney 2008 commenced with a spectacular Opening Mass celebrated by Cardinal George Pell at Barangaroo – a 22-hectare location near Darling Harbour. This was the first official event of the weeklong festival.
Day 1 My name is Brad. I’m young (22), I’m Catholic and I’m at World Youth Day in Sydney. I’m with the St Paul’s Parish group from Bentleigh. We are all about the same age and there are about 24 of us.
“Congratulations! You and another pilgrim of your choice will be part of a spectacular harbour moment when His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI travels by boat to Barangaroo for the Papal welcome. Pilgrims will accompany the Holy Father in one of the ten pilgrim boats that will form part of the flotilla of vessels following the Holy Father’s boat, the Sydney 2000.”
More than 250,000 spectators looked on as Christ’s Passion and Death were re-enacted in the streets of Sydney as part of the World Youth Day celebrations. A global audience upward of 500 million tuned in to see the live broadcast.
“What a delight it is to greet you here at Barangaroo, on the shores of magnificent Sydney Harbour. Wherever we are from, we are here at last in Sydney. And together we stand in our world as God’s family, disciples of Christ, empowered by his Holy Spirit to be witnesses of his love and truth for everyone!”
Being confirmed by the Holy Father and receiving communion was wonderful. I am only a baby Catholic (I was baptised at Easter) and it was such an honour and a blessing to be confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI. He is such a gentle man.
Many ask me at what age I decided upon a vocation to the priesthood, but, like all vocations, it was a calling from God rather than a personal whim. God has used various experiences, especially World Youth Day in Cologne and Sydney to gently point out His will to me.
Volume 19, Issue 13-14 To journey, to witness, to receive, was the call that echoed throughout World Youth Day 2008. The Great South Land of the Holy Spirit was rekindled in the flame of faith and hope through the presence of almost 200,000 international pilgrims from all over the world, another 200,000 young Catholic Australians, 1500 priests and religious, 600 bishops, 30 princes of the Church and Pilgrim No. 1: Pope Benedict XVI.
Around 235,000 people enjoyed a candle-lit Evening Vigil with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI at Randwick Racecourse.
For days I’ve been staring at a blank piece of paper. It’s not for lack of things to say or write: I have just been to World Youth Day, after all, the biggest international event that Australia has ever witnessed! It’s more a feeling of frustration that my words will not convey or do justice to the bursting joy in my heart, and the ignited sense of wonder, awe and gratitude that I feel for being part of a truly international, loving and unified Church.
Volume 1, Issue 13-14
PILGRIMS & ATTENDANCE • 70,000 international pilgrims took part in Days in the Dioceses throughout Australia during the week before WYD08 • 150,000 attended the Opening Mass at Barangaroo and CBD sites