Thursday, July 24, 2008

WYD - so wot did it mean?

This is a good question. 

What DID it mean?

In a very real sense this is a personal question. Each and every pilgrim would have a different high point, a different point of reference, a different expectation either met or unmet.

When answering a friend this week I wrote:

It helped me remember why I became a Roman Catholic. Being part of this HUGE church which is present everywhere, regardless of language or race - and I am a part of it - WOW! 

I LOVED being with the French communities and celebrating mass from my heart not ears and head.
Good chat with a French Nun about family life and being a dad and my priorities there in terms of being a good husband and father. Living my life from my spiritual centre and not allowing other stuff to get in the way too much - it will of course but prayer and community are the key to dealing with it.

I can recommend the next WYD in Madrid - not only for the Tapas and Spanish Sherry, but for celebrating the wonder of journeying together in the faith.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008



A rest day which I spent getting to know my Sydney relatives better. Time to reflect on what was going on at WYD and what I was taking away from it . . .

Up early to the train and then picked up with my school friends to go to Wollahara, just near Randwick Race Course, for breakfast before the Papal Final mass.We decided against going to Randwick, as one of our team was not really up for the walk, and we wanted to stay together.WE joined a few thousand and watched the mass on a large screen, It was an intimate view and allowed us to join in regardless of our location.

And what a Mass it was. 400 000 gathered to worship Our Lord. Thousands of Bishops and Priests. The confirmations. The silence after communion. The smiles on the faces. The togetherness in diversity- of being the universal church in truth rather than just as a spoken ideal. Riches in Music, in word, in dance. An overpowering experience!

The announcement of Madrid was greeted very enthusiastically by the crowds. and by us too! Bring on 2011!

After being dropped in the city I shopped a bit more for family gifts and then returned home weary and exhausted from an amazing week - more enriching and rewarding than I could have imagined!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Woke up feeling very sore in back and legs. This Cris crossing of the city is no good for me!
Had a late start and made it into town to once again join the Community of St Jean and the Beatitudes Community as the led the contingent of French Speaking pilgrims for the Eucharist.
Once again it was a moving and beautify experience that, despite my problems with the language, spoke to my heart.

After meeting the girls for lunch, we found a space at Darling harbour and watched about 1/2 of the Stations of the cross from there. It was a very dramatic and powerful presentation which moved all who watched. Apparently there was a large TV audience as well which was very encourgaing.

After struggling to find somewhere for tea, we went to Taize prayer early which was just as well as the place over flowing with pilgrims, and an unannounced visit for prayer by the Prime Minister which was sweet! It was a powerful moment to sing my favourite chants with young people from around the world singing in their own language too. Taize is indeed a powerful place and a message to be heard.

Saturday was a rest day which I spent with my extended family and loved it!

Something on the papal final mass tomorrow!

Friday, July 18, 2008


The french are blowing me away.

On my way back into town yesterday I passed the location where the St Jean community and the Beatitudes community are based. Mass was beginning so I stayed.
I was in tears most of the time as when you pray with a language not your own you are forced to feel rather than think.
The liturgy was beautiful. the music awesome. Silence. Peace. God present.
The whole experience made it worth my while been here in the hustle and bustle.

Today is stations of the cross and then taize. Looking forward to it.

Ciao and pax Friends

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Great day yesterday.
Up early and train into city where I spent the morning with Pilgrims up at the park Near St Mary's cathedral. It was insane but fun. Lots of people milling around and singing and just being friendly and church together. Met up with crew for a Pizza lunch and then while they went off to the Fransician Beach Party at Bondi, I met up with Fr O and went to Taize prayers which was both awesome and packed! Then after a lovely Spanish Tea I went off home - exhausted but happy

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Opening mass

So me and the girls from school go to the Opening mass with George Cardinal Pell. Wow!!
120 000 people packed into the Barangaroo area, in stalls like Cattle.
Most of the fun was getting there. About a 1 1/2 km walk from the upper centre of Sydney. Ethnic and Country groups singing hymns and songs, bouncing beach balls around, having a good time. Manic. Busy. Crazy stuff. Almost too much for me.
The Sanctuary about 800m from where I was standing.
3 Large video screens all around so everyone could see.
Tents for reconciliation set up.
Bishops, Priests, Monks, Nuns, Sisters everywhere. Rosary beads everywhere.
Lovely music written for the occasion. Awesome soloists.
Pell spoke well if a little long on the Parable of the sower.
To be part of this church. To be part of all these people coming in allegiance to Christ was awesome.
Today I am having a quiet morning whilst the youngsters go to teaching and mass.
I will visit the Taize brothers this afternoon and the World Community for Christian Meditation on Saturday.
In between the Pope arrives and we will have stations of the Cross.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Chris is there
our man on the ground at WYD

Reporter: So how is it Chris

Chris: How it what? I love this cafe with internet access!

Reporter: World Youth Day?

Chris: oh, OK. So far, all it seems it to involve is queues. Queues at the airport. Queues to get registered. Queues to get food. Queues to get the train. Mmmmmm.

Reporter: and so?

Chris: I better finish this and get out of the queue!

That was our man, the CK. Stay tuned for more from the Queues at WYD!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy St Benedicts Day!

Happy St Benedict's Day Everyone!

What does the OSB and the rule they live by mean to you in your Spiritual Journey?

(The image is of St Benedict giving his rule to his followers)

Saturday, July 05, 2008