WYD Update - JULY 16
We have been in Sydney since Monday of this week. After a couple hours of delay with the airline we arrived safely. It's been an amazing experience so far. A bit too hectic for some in our group but we continue on the Pilgrimage.
We attended Mass on Tuesday with close to 200,000 people at Barangaroo. Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney. It was an amazing experience. After this we had to stand in line for about an hour and a half to get dinner.
The biggest surprise at this Opening Mass (Fr. Mike you won't believe this) was the fact that we met Fr. Mike's Youth Group at his new parish. We went in the assigned area and then this group came and sat beside us. One of our girls whispered to me that the group next to us is from Detroit. So I went over, introduced myself and asked what Parish and strange enough they were from Sacred Heart Parish in Grosse Ille. They aslo sat next to us earlier tonight at Mass. They have not met Fr. Mike as yet but are excited about having him as their Pastor.
Today, Wednesday, we attended at a Catechesis session with Bishop Joseph Pepe from the Diocese of Las Vegas. We heard some amazing talks and music led by The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and The Sisters of Life out of New York. St. Benedict's Parish, our venue for these Catechetical sessions is sponsored by the Sisters of Life and the Knights of Columbus. They have been extremely warm and friendly and are doing some great work. We also attended a talk on Theology of the Body for Teens, presented by Jason and Chrystalina Evert. We then went to Mass with the Archdiocese of Detroit. This was celebrated by Bishop Quinn and Bishop Flores, both from Detroit. There were about 700 attendees at the from Detroit. Bishop Quinn was very happy to see us all.
Tomorrow (Thursday our time, Wednesday evening Cayman time) is the next big event. We have the Catechesis sessions in the morning. After lunch we will be heading to the Harbour to see the boat-a-cade with the Pope. We have one of the best seats in the house at Barangaroo. Pope Benedict will be addressing the everyone from Barangaroo. So we will see how that goes. If you would love to follow the arrival, check your EWTN schedule. For the arrival I think that will happen about 11pm Cayman time. We will also be attending a lifeteen concert tomorrow night.
On Friday (Thursday evening Cayamn time) we will have Catechesis again in the morning and then we head into town for a 3pm start of a live reenactment of the Stations of the Cross. You will be able to see this at about midnight on EWTN. Check their Schedule.
On Saturday, we have the Pilgrim Walk, where we will walk about 9km to Randwick Racecourse for the Vigil and sleeping outdoors under the stars. The Vigil starts at 7pm our time, 4am Cayman time.
The closing Mass will be at 10am our time on Sunday (Saturday, 7pm Cayman time).
I will keep you updated with more information as we go along.
Keep praying for us that we will treasure these experiences and grow stronger in faith."