World Youth Day 2008 took place from Tuesday 15 to Sunday 20th July, attracting even more visitors to Australia than the 2000 Olympics. WYD08 saw over 125,000 young people respond to Pope Benedict’s invitation to celebrate their faith around the theme of receiving power from the Holy Spirit and becoming witnesses.

We’re off to see the Pope! “Thank you very much everyone who helped us raise the money to go. Many of you have donated very generously and taken up guitar lessons, had bits and bobs done to your houses/gardens, had your cars cleaned, had us babysit, put on events and parties, as well as employing our services in various other ways, and for all this we are extremely grateful. It has been a lot of fun and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with you and for you. We are very blessed to be part of such a great Parish in Seaford. Please rest assured of our love and prayers during our time away and especially at the big mass with the Pope. See you all when we get back!” Love Fliss and Olly.

WORLD YOUTH DAY 2008 PROGRAMME:

• Opening Mass celebrated by Cardinal George Pell in Darling Harbour, 15 July

• Catechesis, from 16-18 July

• Pope Benedict arrived in Sydney, 17 July

• Stations of the Cross around Sydney Harbour, 18 July

• The Evening Vigil with Pope Benedict, 19 July

• The Final Mass on World Youth Day, 20 July.

Bishop Kieran flew out on Sunday 13th July to join the 50 young adults from the diocese along with several priests.

OUR DIOCESAN YOUTH arrived on 14 July and moved to their host families 200km north of Sydney, experiencing rural life and meeting other pilgrims from Europe and America. On 15 July they returned back to Sydney for a harbour cruise followed by the opening ceremony and the Mass in Darling Harbour. Catechists attended and it included a talk on Creation versus Evolution, Dominicans at Sydney University with Cardinal McCarrick on ‘praying in your own meaningful words’, and with Archbishop Colleridge on being witnesses.

G’day from World Youth Day Sydney Australia. “Dear Parish family, We are enjoying every single moment and have met up with the Youth of Arundel & Brighton Diocese, have shared dinner & a Sydney Harbour cruise as well as attending christian events with them. World Youth Day is now in full swing, very vibrant, diverse and exciting with loads of Catholic christian activities to chose from. The climax of the week of celebrations is the open air night vigil, where thousands of people sleep under the stars on Saturday night followed with a Mass led by our Pope Benedict on Sunday.
We are praying and thinking of you all. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your help & support that made this all possible.” With our Love & Blessings – Felicity, Olly, Luke and Josh xxxx

Quotes from our diocesan youth include:

”We take away with us a new found inspiration for our Catholic spirituality, eager to spread the word to our parishes of how young people can be and are excited about being a Catholic.”

”I experienced a complete revamp and reaffirnment of my faith”

”A huge amount of happiness and love knowing that we were all there for the same thing was awe inspiring”

”I met like minded people to share my faith with”

”It has had a huge impact on my life and has made my faith stronger than ever”

”I experienced great welcome and great encouragement from the 400,000 youth of the same faith”

”When the Cardinals and Bishops spoke about the mystery of Catholicism it helped me to understand my views on God”

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