S: World Youth Day 2008 - Sydney, Australia
FC: You will receive power when the holy spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses (Act 1:9)
1: Heya... So We Prepared for World Youth Day for more than two years, and now finally on July 2nd it is time for us to go. Unfortunately I really have no idea what an adventure this will be, or what kind of "crazy stuff" is going to change my life along the way. Then again if I knew it would be no fun finding out. This is a book of all those crazy things between leaving Canada and coming home again one month later. Well here We go. Carly Forward
2: Montreal | Because they messed up with the plane, we had to stop in Toronto instead of flying straight to Vancouver, but to make up for it they gave all the adults first class seats. | Toronto | Vancouver
3: Toronto | Hacky Sack was the standard pastime while waiting anywhere | Vancouver | Auckland
4: The Sky Tower | (It's got nothin' on the CN tower)
5: After more than a day on planes we arrived and started out early in the morning. Visiting the sky tower before even having breakfast
6: Mount Eden | Mount Maungawhau
7: Mount Eden | Mount Maungawhau | We Stood Inside a Volcano... A very Green Volcano
8: Beach In New Zealand
9: A Crazy First Night | This included walking in flip flops, in the rain, to church... fitting 25 of us in a van, and 10 in a car. To go off and look for a place to eat and then wandering back to the hostel.
10: Some Thoughts About Marmite...
11: Fun on the Bus
12: Most of the Hobbit Holes were not much more than a few feet deep; if that.
14: Kiwi 360 | We went on a tour of a kiwi farm. (That is kiwi the fruit) They told us about the trees and what they need to grow. I cannot believe that these trees ever lasted without humans to tend to them. They are hidden from the wind by huge walls of hedges, they are pruned by professionals yearly and they are pollinated by rented bees which are brought in every year.
15: Kiwi 360
16: Te Puia was one of the coolest places we visited. There was so much to see. and learn about the Maori people. There was also a huge geyser and some thermally heated stones.
19: The thermally heated rocks were so nice to lay on. It was so cold outside.
21: This is what people look like when they are going down a 7 METER waterfall
22: This looks like a regular pool, but it's actually a really big hot tub.
23: These showers were really cold so that we could cool off after being in the hot tubs.
24: The Agrodome is a place that has a Ton of cool things to see and do. We went to the sheep show... It is crazy how many sheep there are and how they control them | The Agrodome is a place that has a Ton of cool things to see and do. We went to the sheep show... It is crazy how many sheep there are and how they control them
25: This dog not only herded the sheep, but would run and sit on top of them to make sure they were well behaved.
28: YUMMMM.... Wasabi | KIWI PAKA LODGE home for 3 days | KIWI PAKA LODGE home for 3 days
29: The Hacky Sacks broke! ... What can we do now? | We found NEW Hacky Sacks! Now we have something to do
30: We went on a gondola ride up this hill and then got to "Luge" down. It was really fun
35: Days In The Diocese
36: St. Patrick's Welcome
37: Trivia & Potluck Night
38: Planting Trees
39: As a part of Days in the Diocese, Pilgrims do some kind of community service work with some members of the host community. We planted trees in a small park with some of the pilgrims from St. Patrick's who were going to Sydney. Luckily there were no accidents... cough cough... except for the people who fell in the creek
40: Welcome to Auckland for Days in the Diocese
41: A few maori guys got together and did a really cool haka for us.
42: Samoan Show
43: St. Patrick's Cathedral | ... Cause I'm a Witness
46: We did so many things with St. Patrick's We even visited Marin Land | Marine
47: The Marine Land in Auckland has a glass underwater tunnel which was super cool! There were sharks and stuff swimming right over of us | Land
49: Monastery | Tyburn Monastery
50: BBQ at
51: the Shack
52: Our Last Day in Pukekohe
53: Sydney | Auckland
56: The Pope's Arrival | The Olympic | They left these REALLY bright lights on SO late.
58: There were so many flags on so many people during World Youth Day | FLAGS... FLAGS... FLAGS...
59: Sydney put on a really big light show for WYD
60: There were a lot of people making their way to Barangaroo for the opening ceremony. We had quite a time dancing with people from Brazil as we waited to get in. | Opening
61: And what a welcome it was, they even wrote it in the sky! | Ceremony
62: The Pope's Arrival
64: Our Catechesis | During the week of World Youth Day, the youth have the opportunity to attend various catecheses. Our group animated catecheses for a couple of thousand people on three of the days. Each morning was filled with music, prayer and plays after which a bishop gave a talk and a mass for all those present.
65: Our Catechesis | During the week of World Youth Day, the youth have the opportunity to attend various catecheses. Our group animated catecheses for a couple of thousand people on three of the days. Each morning was filled with music, prayer and plays after which a bishop gave a talk and a mass for all those present. | Lunch of Champions ... Tuna and Lamingtons!?
66: The Way of the Cross | As a part of the week of World Youth Day, the host city puts on a reenactment of the way of the cross throughout the city
67: During World Youth Day I began to notice Jesus everywhere, but I was also truly blessed to have many other experiences that strengthened and affirmed my faith. During the way of the cross I met a man carrying a "Free Prayers" sign who changed my life. The sign caught my eye because many people were walking around with “Free Hugs” signs, but I had never seen a free prayers one. I thought “wow that’s different” and nearly let him walk by, but on a strange impulse I asked him if he could pray for me. I’m not sure what I was expecting but, I was surprised when he asked me if it was ok if he prayed for me now. I agreed, and we said the sign of the cross and he laid his hand on my head and began to speak in a language that I was unfamiliar with. It sounded like he was speaking gibberish; another girl who was with him came up and also began speaking gibberish. After a few moments she bent down to me and said “what the Holy Spirit is telling me is ” and she continued to explain to me some of my deepest desires in life, as well as some of the things which hold me from reaching my full potential. She spoke for the Holy Spirit telling me that I was here to help others, I was shocked. She told me things that no one could know about me, let alone a stranger. My first thought was “Wow, this is the Holy Spirit and if I didn't believe in God I would be very scared right now”. After they left, I was speechless, when Father Gilles explained that the man who prayed for me had been praying in tongues and the girl had been discerning the meaning of what he had been saying, I realized what had happened and I was even more speechless. Many other pilgrims who had seen what happened, asked me about it but the only way that I could find to describe what had happened was that “it was... it was...” and then I gave up, because I don't think that words exist to describe encounters with God. One pilgrim asked me how I knew that it was real, you might be asking the same question and to that the only thing I can say is that sometimes you know, and you can feel it. | Carly Forward
68: On Our Way to Randwick for the Overnight Vigil and Closing Mass | Closing Ceremony
69: The Vigil
70: Closing Mass
71: Dear Friends, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8). We have seen this promise fulfilled! On the day of Pentecost, as we heard in the first reading, the Risen Lord, seated at the right hand of the Father, sent the Spirit upon the disciples gathered in the Upper Room. In the power of that Spirit, Peter and the Apostles went forth to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. In every age, and in every language, the Church throughout the world continues to proclaim the marvels of God and to call all nations and peoples to faith, hope and new life in Christ. In these days I too have come, as the Successor of Saint Peter, to this magnificent land of Australia. I have come to confirm you, my young brothers and sisters, in your faith and to encourage you to open your hearts to the power of Christ’s Spirit and the richness of his gifts. I pray that this great assembly, which unites young people “from every nation under heaven” (cf. Acts 2:5), will be a new Upper Room. May the fire of God’s love descend to fill your hearts, unite you ever more fully to the Lord and his Church, and send you forth, a new generation of apostles, to bring the world to Christ! “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you”. These words of the Risen Lord have a special meaning for those young people who will be confirmed, sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, at today’s Mass. But they are also addressed to each of us – to all those who have received the Spirit’s gift of reconciliation and new life at Baptism, who have welcomed him into their hearts as their helper and guide at Confirmation, and who daily grow in his gifts of grace through the Holy Eucharist. At each Mass, in fact, the Holy Spirit descends anew, invoked by the solemn prayer of the Church, not only to transform our gifts of bread and wine into the Lord’s body and blood, but also to transform our lives, to make us, in his power, “one body, one spirit in Christ”. But what is this “power” of the Holy Spirit? It is the power of God’s life! It is the power of the same Spirit who hovered over the waters at the dawn of creation and who, in the fullness of time, raised Jesus from the dead. It is the power which points us, and our world, towards the coming of the Kingdom of God. In today’s Gospel, Jesus proclaims that a new age has begun, in which the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all humanity (cf. Lk 4:21). He himself, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin May, came among us to bring us that Spirit. As the source of our new life in Christ, the Holy Spirit is also, in a very real way, the soul of the Church, the love which binds us to the Lord and one another, and the light which opens our eyes to see all around us the wonders of God’s grace. Here in Australia, this “great south land of the Holy Spirit”, all of us have had an unforgettable experience of the Spirit’s presence and power in the beauty of nature. Our eyes have been opened to see the world around us as it truly is: “charged”, as the poet says, “with the grandeur of God”, filled with the glory of his creative love. Here too, in this great assembly of young Christians from all over the world, we have had a vivid experience of the Spirit’s presence and power in the life of the Church. We have seen the Church for what she truly is: the Body of Christ, a living community of love, embracing people of every race, nation and tongue, of every time and place, in the unity born of our faith in the Risen Lord. The power of the Spirit never ceases to fill the Church with life! Through the grace of the Church’s sacraments, that power also flows deep within us, like an underground river which nourishes our spirit and draws us ever nearer to the source of our true life, which is Christ. Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who died a martyr in Rome at the beginning of the second century, has left us a splendid description of the Spirit’s power dwelling within us. He spoke of the Spirit as a fountain of living water springing up within his heart and whispering: “Come, come to the Father” (cf. Ad Rom., 6:1-9). Yet this power, the grace of the Spirit, is not something we can merit or achieve, but only receive as pure gift. God’s love can only unleash its power when it is allowed to change us from within. We have to let it break through the hard crust of our indifference, our spiritual weariness, our blind conformity to the spirit of this age. Only then can we let it ignite our imagination and shape our deepest desires. That is why prayer is so important: daily prayer, private prayer in the quiet of our hearts and before the Blessed Sacrament, and liturgical prayer in the heart of the Church. Prayer is pure receptivity to God’s grace, love in action, communion with the Spirit who dwells within us, leading us, through Jesus, in the Church, to our heavenly Father. In the power of his Spirit, Jesus is always present in our hearts, quietly waiting for us to be still with him, to hear his voice, to abide in his love, and to receive “power from on high”, enabling us to be salt and light for our world.
72: At his Ascension, the Risen Lord told his disciples: “You will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Here, in Australia, let us thank the Lord for the gift of faith, which has come down to us like a treasure passed on from generation to generation in the communion of the Church. Here, in Oceania, let us give thanks in a special way for all those heroic missionaries, dedicated priests and religious, Christian parents and grandparents, teachers and catechists who built up the Church in these lands – witnesses like Blessed Mary MacKillop, Saint Peter Chanel, Blessed Peter To Rot, and so many others! The power of the Spirit, revealed in their lives, is still at work in the good they left behind, in the society which they shaped and which is being handed on to you. Dear young people, let me now ask you a question. What will you leave to the next generation? Are you building your lives on firm foundations, building something that will endure? Are you living your lives in a way that opens up space for the Spirit in the midst of a world that wants to forget God, or even rejects him in the name of a falsely-conceived freedom? How are you using the gifts you have been given, the “power” which the Holy Spirit is even now prepared to release within you? What legacy will you leave to young people yet to come? What difference will you make? The power of the Holy Spirit does not only enlighten and console us. It also points us to the future, to the coming of God’s Kingdom. What a magnificent vision of a humanity redeemed and renewed we see in the new age promised by today’s Gospel! Saint Luke tells us that Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of all God’s promises, the Messiah who fully possesses the Holy Spirit in order to bestow that gift upon all mankind. The outpouring of Christ’s Spirit upon humanity is a pledge of hope and deliverance from everything that impoverishes us. It gives the blind new sight; it sets the downtrodden free, and it creates unity in and through diversity (cf. Lk 4:18-19; Is 61:1-2). This power can create a new world: it can “renew the face of the earth” (cf. Ps 104:30)! Empowered by the Spirit, and drawing upon faith’s rich vision, a new generation of Christians is being called to help build a world in which God’s gift of life is welcomed, respected and cherished – not rejected, feared as a threat and destroyed. A new age in which love is not greedy or self-seeking, but pure, faithful and genuinely free, open to others, respectful of their dignity, seeking their good, radiating joy and beauty. A new age in which hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy and self-absorption which deaden our souls and poison our relationships. Dear young friends, the Lord is asking you to be prophets of this new age, messengers of his love, drawing people to the Father and building a future of hope for all humanity. The world needs this renewal! In so many of our societies, side by side with material prosperity, a spiritual desert is spreading: an interior emptiness, an unnamed fear, a quiet sense of despair. How many of our contemporaries have built broken and empty cisterns (cf. Jer 2:13) in a desperate search for meaning – the ultimate meaning that only love can give? This is the great and liberating gift which the Gospel brings: it reveals our dignity as men and women created in the image and likeness of God. It reveals humanity’s sublime calling, which is to find fulfilment in love. It discloses the truth about man and the truth about life. The Church also needs this renewal! She needs your faith, your idealism and your generosity, so that she can always be young in the Spirit (cf. Lumen Gentium, 4)! In today’s second reading, the Apostle Paul reminds us that each and every Christian has received a gift meant for building up the Body of Christ. The Church especially needs the gifts of young people, all young people. She needs to grow in the power of the Spirit who even now gives joy to your youth and inspires you to serve the Lord with gladness. Open your hearts to that power! I address this plea in a special way to those of you whom the Lord is calling to the priesthood and the consecrated life. Do not be afraid to say “yes” to Jesus, to find your joy in doing his will, giving yourself completely to the pursuit of holiness, and using all your talents in the service of others!
73: In a few moments, we will celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation. The Holy Spirit will descend upon the confirmands; they will be “sealed” with the gift of the Spirit and sent forth to be Christ’s witnesses. What does it mean to receive the “seal” of the Holy Spirit? It means being indelibly marked, inalterably changed, a new creation. For those who have received this gift, nothing can ever be the same! Being “baptized” in the one Spirit (cf. 1 Cor 12:13) means being set on fire with the love of God. Being “given to drink” of the Spirit means being refreshed by the beauty of the Lord’s plan for us and for the world, and becoming in turn a source of spiritual refreshment for others. Being “sealed with the Spirit” means not being afraid to stand up for Christ, letting the truth of the Gospel permeate the way we see, think and act, as we work for the triumph of the civilization of love. As we pray for the confirmands, let us ask that the power of the Holy Spirit will revive the grace of our own Confirmation. May he pour out his gifts in abundance on all present, on this city of Sydney, on this land of Australia and on all its people! May each of us be renewed in the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgement and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of wonder and awe in God’s presence! Through the loving intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, may this Twenty-third World Youth Day be experienced as a new Upper Room, from which all of us, burning with the fire and love of the Holy Spirit, go forth to proclaim the Risen Christ and to draw every heart to him! Amen. | EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION ON THE OCCASION OF THE 23rd WORLD YOUTH DAY HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI Randwick Racecourse Sunday, 20 July 2008
74: After the Closing Ceremony
75: Here We Go Again | Sydney | Cairns
76: Tourism in Cairns!
77: Tourism in Cairns!
78: Koala Beach Resort
79: Oh Bradley don't eat those! They're very sour!
80: Australia's Great Barrier Reef | The water was a bit choppy, but it was still really awesome to go snorkeling on the great barrier reef. A bunch of us even got to swim with a sea turtle
81: Australia's Great Barrier Reef | The water was a bit choppy, but it was still really awesome to go snorkeling on the great barrier reef. A bunch of us even got to swim with a sea turtle
82: A Crocodile Hunt! | A Real Life Crocodile
84: A Jungle Tour
86: PK's Jungle Village
87: On the Beach | Fruit Tasting
88: Horseback Riding | Night Walk
89: The Watering Hole | Suspended Bridge
90: The Night Zoo
91: St. Monica's Cathedral | The Lagoon
92: Trinity Beach
93: Cairns | Sydney | ... And we're back on a plane again
94: Tourism in Sydney | Sydney Opera House
95: Tourism in Sydney | The Cathedral
96: Sydney Zoo | Of course we got to see all the amazing Australian animals again when we visited the zoo
97: Around the City
98: Sydney | Montreal
99: Arriving Home