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Pope Benedict met Friday with heads of other faiths at Sydney’s St. Mary’s Cathedral Chapter Hall. Here is the Holy Father’s address: Dear Friends, I extend cordial greetings of peace and goodwill to all of you who are here representing various religious traditions in Australia. Grateful for this encounter, I thank Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence and ...read more
  As we were tightly packed on the deck of the Sydney 2000, I couldn’t help but be privy to another pilgrim’s poignant moment with the Holy Father. Representing Sudan, Rodha is an invited participant in the International Liturgy Group. As such, she was also among the eleven ILG members chosen to meet Pope Benedict XVI as he travelled by ...read more
Being at the Papal Welcome Ceremony earlier today, certainly brought back memories. You see, for WYD2002, I was in charge of the Papal Welcome Ceremony. I loved planning that event. I loved working with the Liturgy team, the operations team, the International Liturgy coordinator, the Vatican Master of Ceremonies, the Papal Protocol people, the Vatican ...read more
The unexpected happened! Last night, I found out that I was going to be part of the Salt + Light crew on the papal boat (it was me, Wally, and Sebastien). This morning, I was told that we’d be positioned on the top deck with the over 200 pilgrims chosen to be in the papal ...read more
This blog comes from Marilena Berardinelli, a young Toronto based Catholic teacher and WYD08 participant. It is difficult to imagine WYD without the presence of a Roman Pontiff. Of course, the experience of WYD goes beyond any one Pope, however, his presence does attest to the fact that young people are an integral aspect of ...read more
[From the Thursday Papal arrival to the Sydney Harbour, here is Pope Benedict XVI’s Homily] Dear Young People, What a delight it is to greet you here at Barangaroo, on the shores of the magnificent Sydney harbour, with its famous bridge and Opera House. Many of you are local, from the outback or the dynamic ...read more
Today I met Pope Benedict XVI. The occasion was the boatacade to the Barangaroo site in Sydney Harbour, where 150,000 pilgrims waited to welcome him to World Youth Day. Some 350,000 others were along the shores en route. Eleven members of the International Liturgy Group were granted the opportunity to speak with the Pope, each ...read more
[Pope Benedict was officially greeted by the Australian government on Thursday, July 17th. Dignitaries included Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia Major General Michael Jeffery. The following is the Holy Father’s address from the welcome ceremony, held at Sydney’s Government House.] Your Excellencies, Dear Australian Friends, It is ...read more
Pope Benedict XVI will be officially arriving at WYD on Thursday, but in the meantime he’s spending a few days relaxing at an Opus Dei retreat centre northwest of Sydney. In addition to spending time praying, enjoying music, wandering the 25-acre property, and celebrating Mass, the Holy Father took the opportunity to make a few ...read more
Today there was no major papal event, so we were able to take this time and have some of the regular pilgrim experience – just participate! Catechesis sessions and the Youth Festival started today, and it’s been my most enjoyable day so far. For the catechesis sessions on the Holy Spirit, Pedro and I decided ...read more