Praised be Jesus Christ to everyone!
Today, as all the others, was exceptionally graced. We met with nine other sisters from our group and found our way to Barangaroo in Darling Harbor, which was the place of the opening Mass for World Youth Day. (A little history lesson: “Barangaroo” is the name of the wife of an indigenous King named “Bennelong.” Both he and his wife had influence in the colonization of Sydney.) We were actually one of the first couple of 1000 that arrived – which was very nice. We were able to find our area with “no worries” – that’s a famous Aussie phrase 🙂 We got our lunch within 15 minutes of entering our area – another blessing. The young people were so excited and you could feel the genuine happiness of the people – it was an excitement that was not obnoxious or hysterical – it was true joy with a peace. This peace seemed to ripple through the crowd of about 150,000people as Mass began, because there was an amazing quiet and reverence during the whole of the Mass. At the last minute, the Sisters, along with many pilgrims, were ushered into the VIP section – there were empty chairs. Though we were not super close, we had chairs to sit on (a blessing from our Lord!) and we could see the stage. As the Mass proceeded, I marveled at the quiet hush that fell over the masses – it was very reverent. Holy Communion was the same. There was a quiet peace. If the pilgrims were not singing, they were in silent thanksgiving – there was a true sense of the sacred.
Cardinal Pell’s words: “You must let the Holy Spirit mold you,be open…be docile to the Holy Spirit so that He can guide you in your life.” Profoundly simple. The young people we have met thus far (and we saw many more today that we know personally) want this very much. For those Sisters who may not know, the theme for World Youth Day is taken from Acts 1:8 – “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be My witnesses.”
I prayed for you very specailly – I know that we are one day ahead of you, but my Mass was offered for you all onthe vigil of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (for us, anyways…)and for the 3 brides and our 2 new novices, soon to be. We love you all!!!
Sister Grace Helena
I will keep this short as it has been quite a full day. The opening Mass for WYD was truly beautiful. There were literally thousands of people present and though so many…the spirit of prayer and quiet was very evident during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As many of you know, I love music. And what I found so deeply moving was to see and hear all these young people from around the world singing with their whole hearts…esp. when they recognized the songs. The oneness was tangible. And the underlying spirit present amongst the pilgrims brought tears to your eyes on a continual basis.
Cardinal Pell spoke beautifully to the young people and called them on to faithfulness. Hearing him speak and hearing the Cardinal (who heads the office at the Vatican that oversees these sort of gatherings) speak at the end of Mass made one reminiscent of our late Holy Father who was very present this evening.
We saw many young women whom we know from around the US which in itself was a joy. Imagine! What a small world we live in! All in all, it was a grace to be there. I kept having to tell myself that I was at WYD and that I was in Australia. Tis a little past 11pm our time so I think I will call it a night. God bless and blessed night to you! I think SGH sent out greetings to all and assured certain sisters who are looking forward to the 16th of our prayers so I will leave it at that.
Sister Mary Scholastica