Closing Reflections – Sister Mary Scholastica

Praised be Jesus Christ! It is with much gratitude that I write these closing reflections. The heart is so full, I’m not quite sure where to begin.

Just to share…I don’t usually like to travel, and I’ve never really had a desire to go to a particular place, on a pilgrimage or anything of that sort. Even past world youth days, I enjoyed hearing about it but never really desired to attend. Sometime in April or May of this year (can’t quite remember the time frame) the Lord put a very strong desire in my heart to attend WYD in Australia. Not only was there a strong desire, but simultaneous to this, there was a sense of knowing that somehow I would be going. I can’t tell you how or why, I just knew. When Sister Joseph Louise mentioned to me in passing one day that I had a very important letter in my mailbox – even before retrieving it, I knew it was something connected to WYD. And indeed it was. It was a (more…)

Published in: on July 23, 2008 at 9:43 am  Comments (14)  

Final Reflections on WYD from Sister Grace Helena

Praised be Jesus Christ! World Youth Day has come to a close and I cannot help but reflect on the great grace of realizing how every soul really longs for truth. This may seem elementary to many because if we are made in the image and likeness of God, of course, we long for ultimate Truth, which is our Creator. In day-to-day living, though, our activities and responsibilities, many times, hinder us from reflecting on the truth that each soul is infinitely loved by God and that actual grace is working at every millisecond of each person’s life to be drawn to know Him and desire Him. I have experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in a new way through my opportunity to participate in WYD. This power was revealed to me to be very gentle and unassuming.

I had always pictured the “power of the Holy Spirit” as something very forceful and strong. My encounters with those who attended WYD (old and young alike), those who observed from afar, those who were skeptical at first, those who are of other faiths – have helped me to understand in a new way that the Holy Spirit is gentle and He allows each individual to grow at their own pace…and grapple, if necessary, to understand truth – just as Jacob wrestled with the angel all night. No person is left in the dust, so to speak – God is active in every soul, it is simply a matter of consent on the person’s part to open their heart to His inspirations – and even then it does not happen like a Saint Paul conversion being thrown off his horse – no, the Spirit works in slow, gentle, and quiet movements of the soul for most common folk. I witnessed this gentle opening of people’s souls to His inspirations – many did not even realize that this was what was happening and yet by either their questions, their thoughts shared, and their willingness to listen to others’ thoughts – one could see that the Holy Spirit was living and active, and working with souls where they were at.

I have been told that this WYD held the great gift of very accessible adoration throughout the city. The youth were able to kneel before our Lord in almost every venue and could find Him in many places anytime of the day or night through the week – what a tremendous outpouring of grace! And what is prayer before our Lord but an encounter with the living God Who transforms us and molds us and teaches us to pray for one another as He intercedes for us daily before the Father. Having a half a million youth praying for our world, our Church, and one another must have resounded in heaven and made the angels both weep for joy and rejoice – and how it must have worked in the hearts of the people of Australia and around the world! Hearts were opened because of prayer – how powerful is prayer when we ask sincerely before our Heavenly Father.

The gift of having our Holy Father so close to us is beyond words. There is a grace with the Office of Peter that transcends boundaries of faith – people of different faiths shared how happy they were to have Pope Benedict visit Sydney. There was a tug in my heart when I heard that his plane left for Rome. I thank our Lord for the gift of my faith, to have had an opportunity to be a witness of His love, and to be transformed (God-willing) by my encounter with others who are living witnesses of their faith.

As Sister Mary Scholastica and I close our reflections,ending our World Youth Day journaling in the blogging world I hold each of you in my heart. My prayer for each person who has walked this journey with us and those who have been touched in other ways through this grace-filled time is that you will be drawn more deeply into the truth that you are uniquely loved by God and that He desires your friendship as though you were the only person on earth. May the Holy Spirit be our beacon of light and burn brightly in our souls so that we truly will be His witnesses before the world and give testimony to the power of His love and mercy in our lives.
With much love and gratitude…
Sister Grace Helena

Published in: on July 23, 2008 at 9:38 am  Comments (1)  

Day 17…The Last Day at the Cathedral

I pray this day was filled with many blessings and graces for each of you. Praised be Jesus Christ! Today was our last day of “official” work at Saint Mary’s Cathedral. I was surprised at how many pilgrims were still coming through. The morning was a bit slow, but by the time we left, around 2:00 PM, there were at least 1000 people who had gone through and a group of about 2000 had reserved a time slot shortly after we left!

Today was very low key, which I am grateful for. The Australians continue to tell us how much they loved having us here. Many have tears in their eyes and ask us to stay. I am very edified by the simplicity of their gratitude, their openness, and their inhibition to speak with us about the impact this last week has had on them. Sometimes, it seems, pride keeps us from showing and expressing gratitude…these people are so gracious and desire truth…and have taught me much about humility. These past two and half weeks have showered Australia and us with torrents of graces. May we give as much as we have received (…and more).

God bless each of you. I have loved Australia and my time here…but, I am looking forward to being home. I miss you all very much.
Sister Grace Helena

Praised be Jesus Christ! I ditto what SGH has written above. AND I also look very much to returning home. Praying for all of you!
Sister Mary Scholastica

Published in: on July 22, 2008 at 6:41 am  Comments (1)  

Day 16 – General Audience with our Holy Father

Praised be Jesus Christ! Today our Holy Father left Australia to head home for Rome. We had the tremendous gift of attending a general audience with him this morning (it was for all volunteers and staff – all 8,000+ of us). SGH and I left the college early in hopes of getting there before the bulk of the crowd. Our efforts were duly rewarded. And even in this, the good Lord watched over us. We missed a bus and got a bit turned around as to which direction we were supposed to go which happened to be providential as another volunteer flagged us down as we were about to turn a corner and gave us a ride to the Domain where the event was held. Otherwise we would not have gotten the spots that we did. We were close enough to see the emblem on his stole – which means we were quite close. I took photos to share with you. What a beautiful pope we have!

I cannot begin to tell you what it was like to be so close to Peter (meaning PBXVI). To pray with him, to be blessed by him, to be with him. And just so you know…all the blessings we received from him this week were received for all of you. Please God, may it bear fruit.

After our morning audience SGH and I headed back to St. Mary’s Cathedral as we were on duty. Both of us were manning different stations connected to Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati – Sister by his relics, and I passing out booklets on him in the front section. We were probably busier today than most other days, praise God! We also had an opportunity to meet his niece who was actually leaving Australia today to return home to Turin. A blessing. The days have been quite full and sometimes long – and though our time here has been abundantly grace-filled, I do look forward to returning home.

Sisters, the following send their greetings: Fr. Bob Lombardo, Fr. James Adams, Fr. John Montejano, and I know there are many more but my mind draws a blank.

We miss Pope Benedict but rejoice in the blessings afforded us with his presence. God bless and good night.
Sister Mary Scholastica

Praised be Jesus Christ! Happy Belated Feastday, Sister Maria Elia! I am sorry we did not greet you on your day… actually, your day for us was a day early for you…anyways, I prayed for you and hope your day was filled with every blessing from our Lord!

A quick reflection about the closing Mass at Randwick Racetrack…

I do not know how many priests con-celebrated, but there were many. We had met many throughout the week who were having difficulty getting accredited in order to participate in the Mass. This means that they needed to go through a screening process, and for whatever reason there were many difficulties for many priests. We assured them all of our prayers. Today, the day after the closing Mass, we providentially saw two of these priests and they said their accreditation came through at the last minute – many more priests said the same thing. I asked a priest I met today at the cathedral how he felt to be so close to the Holy Father and to con-celebrate Mass with him. His response was that it was the best experience of his life so far, he said it was an honor and gave him new energy to go back home. Another priest told me that the sacrifice of having to wait to the last minute – the ‘not knowing for sure’ – was difficult for him, but that he realized our Lord was asking this sacrifice of him for graces that were needed this week. As I spoke with them, I thought: Men of faith and prayer – men willing to be molded and led by the Holy Spirit. How much we need to pray for our priests!

As most of you probably saw, the Mass was beautiful. Pope Benedict spoke so eloquently. The young people were really listening. The opportunity to to be in the same place with our Holy Father has been such a gift. I know Sister and I keep saying this, but when you are near him there is an undeniable grace.

This morning there was a special meeting with the Holy Father for all the volunteers. We were a part of the volunteer work force! We woke up very early and tried to get to the place of “Meeting” before the other 8000 volunteers showed up. Well, we were about the 1001st and 1002nd volunteers to beat every one else to the front lines 🙂 We actually found a very good spot very close, as you will see from the pictures Sister took. She was able to get some great pictures of our Holy Father. To be soooo close to him that you could actually see his smile and his reactions as people spoke, this was very special. It felt a little lonely when he left the stage, knowing that he was on his way to the airport. How deeply bonded we are in the Mystical Body of Christ.

On our bus ride back to the college after working at the cathedral a young woman thanked us for being here and shared how joyful our presence made Sydney. She was speaking of all the pilgrims and the WYD events. She did not participate in the WYD, but her sincerity and genuine gratitude was resonant of so many, many other Austalians and Sydneysiders (as those who live in Sydney are called). Today, there was a bittersweet feeling amongst many as the Holy Father returned home. We miss him already.

Have a blessed day. With many prayers for you.
Sister Grace Helena

Published in: on July 21, 2008 at 9:23 am  Comments (1)  

Day 15…The Vigil and Closing Mass

Praised be Jesus Christ Sisters! Made it home from the closing Mass! What a week to remember. Last night’s vigil as you probably already know was beautiful. I almost don’t want to go into a blow by blow account simply because I’m still processing it myself and am also a bit under the weather. I’m sure SGH will do a nice job explaining it all to you.

All I can share was that it was an immense gift to be in the presence of our Holy Father(even from afar) and words cannot express what it is like to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with Pope – Christ’s Vicar on earth. God bless and good night.
Sister Mary Scholastica

Praised be Jesus Christ! We have just returned from the pilgrimage Vigil and Mass with our Holy Father. The whole event was blessed. First of all I wanted to share that the Saturday Mass in which Sister Mary Scholastica received Holy Communion from our Holy Father was really heavenly! I was not sure if I could get in due to the special invitations necessary, in fact, I was told I could not. At 8:15 AM I decided to venture across to a nearby park where the American Bishops were celebrating Mass for the American pilgrims when I saw a small group of Sisters who were on their way to the cathedral. They, too, had been told they could not get in, but heard that there was a good chance we could – so I turned around and went back. We were able to get in without a problem. What a special moment to see Pope Benedict as he was processing down the aisle. I was not seated where I could see him during the Mass, but it just was not important. There was a sense of gift – freely given to uplift and plant deeply in the soul that this moment in time was eternal – just as our destiny is. Nothing seemed to matter but being present to each moment of the Mass. There were monitors throughout the cathedral so that all the faithful could see what was happening throughout the Mass. The consecration of the altar was beautiful! I have never seen a dedication of an altar or church before. The prayers were powerful and inspiring, as they can be connected with our own consecration and total gift of self.

After the morning Mass, SMS and I packed and began our pilgrim walk with four other Sisters. It was blessed and quite “pain-free”, as pilgrimages go 🙂 We prayed along the way, as well as visited with pilgrims. When we arrived at Randwick Racetrack, it was already packed – the trek to find our assigned area took as long as the pilgrimage walk, itself! By the time we found it, almost all the CMSWR Sisters were there. We squeezed in and, as WYD Vigil camp outs go, began to make friends very quickly, as you are in very tight quarters – the young people were very respectful and went out of their way to offer us water, a pillow (!), vigil candles -good young people! SMS and I had the late evening/morning shift at different Adoration tents. I was assigned to the tent with the Sisters of Charity. It was truly lovely. At 10:00 PM, when my shift began, I found the tent packed to the gills. It started to loosen up around 12:30 AM. Adoration and Confessions were going on throughout the whole night – and the priests remained busy. God’s grace is strong. I was there until about 1:15 AM, then made it back to our campsite by 2:15 AM.

The Holy Father drove around the race track before beginning Mass – we were able to see him really well – the driver drove a lot slower this time 🙂 Our Holy Father’s smile is so endearing… I am going to write this in two installments…to be continued tomorrow….tomorrow we will write about the Mass.

A quick reflection…have you ever been in a place with a half a million people and heard the silence? That’s what happened during Holy Communion and through many parts of the Mass – there was such reverence. There is deep faith – it needs to be nurtured in our young people, that’s all. We are blessed. God bless you. With much love in our Lord,
Sister Grace Helena

Published in: on July 20, 2008 at 7:50 am  Comments (1)  

Day 14…Holy Mass with the Holy Father

Praised be Jesus Christ! We wanted to share a little bit with you before we headed off for the pilgrim walk – for the evening vigil at Randwick park as we wouldn’t be returning home until the afternoon the following day. We are on duty at the Cathedral right after the Sunday colsing Mass for WYD.

SGH and I headed towards St. Mary’s Cathedral bright and early this morning at 5am. By the time we got there quite a few seminarians had already formed a line. At this point SGH and I were placed in seperate lines. Jumping ahead…I was seated 5 pews behind the con-celebrating priests which means I was quite close to the altar. About 9:15ish, our Holy Father processed into the Cathedral – preceded by “Viva el Papa” which is why we knew he was coming. If I wanted to – I could have stretched over (really stretched)and touched him which is how close I was as he was coming down the main aisle. What a beautiful pope we have!! Holy Mass was heaven on earth – words can’t quite describe what it is like to attend Mass when the Vicar of Christ is the main celebrant. The ritual, the music…everything simply lifted your heart and mind from this earth to that which is above. Receiving holy communion from our Holy Father was a beautiful grace. We lined up in single file and went up onto the sanctuary where they had a kneeler in place for us to kneel and receive communion from his Holiness. All the way up and in my thanksgiving afterwards, I prayed for you Mother and sisters and knew you to be there with me. I don’t think I can adequately describe the blessings of this mornings Mass and so will stop here and will hope to do so better later.

I write on behalf of SGH and myself. God bless you dear Sisters! Pope Benedict, we love you! SMScholastica

Published in: on July 19, 2008 at 3:36 am  Comments (2)  

Day 13…Stations of the Cross and Old Friends

Praised be Jesus Christ! The two Carmelite pilgrims ventured out to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral across town for noon Mass and onto Barangaroo for the Stations of the Cross. What has really been striking me the most about the crowds is how very peaceful and quiet they are – really – they are very calm and quiet. We were walking through the streets with literally 1000’s of others and both of us could converse in a normal tone of voice, enjoy meeting others without asking twice (because of noise level) what they said, and walk without being run over or pushed. All the pilgrims are very respectful and truly enjoying their time – there is a lot of singing and dancing in the streets. Just for a reality check: there is a tunnel we have to walk through in order to get into Barangaroo – and when the young people walk through it, its an open invitation to hoot and sing as loud as they can to get the echoes – they’re normal young people.

We arrived early to our assigned area and enjoyed our lunch…and from here I will let Sister Mary Scholastica share the two graces we received today.

God bless you all. I am praying for you in a special way during these days.

Sister Grace Helena

Greetings everybody! I suppose praised be Jesus Christ would be more fitting! The days have been quite full here and we are trying to be open to all the gifts and graces the Lord is sending us.

1st off…when we first arrived in Barangaroo (the place we were assigned to for the Stations of the Cross) we were placed in an area where you couldn’t see anything at all…not even the screen (though we were content as it was a nice spot). As providence would have it, a large group of British pilgrims found there way next to us. We met their priest chaperones (beautiful priests) and their archbishop who was also accompanying them. The good Archbishop did a bit of exploring and found another area which was much more accomodating and so led his crowd of 90 pilgrims (to whom 2 Carmelite sisters were annexed) to an area where we had the pretty much the best view. 🙂 Isn’t God good!?

Low and behold…as the evening progressed we ran into our “old” friends from Washington. Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church! What a small world! We cannot even begin to tell you all the people we’ve seen here who are friends of the community. Well…the sisters have a very striking habit (white) and so when they came through the sea of people, you can imagine how happy we were to see them. We prayed the Stations of the Cross together and as providence would bless us again, found a nice spot by the harbor to enjoy our dinner. What a lovely evening it was. They send you all their greeings. They are doing well – and look oh so happy.

I’m going to close this up so I can take care of some other things on our end. Australia is an awfully nice place. 🙂 Though I miss you all, it will be a sad time when we leave here. We do plan on coming home. 🙂 Prayers tomorrow – Holy Mass with the Holy Father tomorrow morning and then the pilgrim walk for the vigil. Good night all!

Sister Mary Scholastica

Published in: on July 18, 2008 at 10:26 am  Comments (2)  

Day 12…The Papal Dash

Praised be Jesus Christ to everyone! We are sorry for not sharing reflections yesterday. We arrived back at the campus about 11:00 pm and as it was a long day – the better part of valor, for the sake of writing a coherent reflection, was to wait until today.

Today was the official welcome of the Holy Father, which I am sure many of you have already read or heard about. The welcome was glorious. A reporter in The Australian, this morning’s edition, reported that the clouds were covering the sky and when the Holy Father got off the boat at the harbor, the clouds parted and the sun streamed through and filled the harbor and dock area – the reporter stated: “coincidence or divine providence?” Very nice!! 🙂

We were not at the harbor but had tickets for a park by the cathedral called the “Domain”. We were able to watch our Holy Father on a big screen. Once again, it was a very pleasant and grace-filled experience. SMS and I left for the “Domain” early and were one of the first 50 or so pilgrims to be let in – which allowed us to survey the lay of the land and pick a very nice spot by the road our Holy Father would pass by in the pope mobile. We had a simple picnic lunch next to a lovely family with four girls. Since we arrived very early (noon), we had a good five hour wait before the Holy Father would be driving by, so we spent our time talking with pilgrims.

About 5:30 our Holy Father arrived at the “Domian.” We were about twelve feet from him as he passed by. Although the driver sped by quickly – much quicker than any of us anticipated would happen – I felt blessed beyond measure. It’s hard to explain the feeling – I am not even sure you can call it a ‘feeling’ because it was more of a knowing that our Lord was so near and so present in this man who has been called to be His voice to us. Grace, mystery, gift, and communion – these are the words that resound in the soul as I contemplate the Office of Peter, Vicar of Christ, to us all.

After the “Papal Dash” – which is actually coined by the pilgrims and the reporters -as pilgrims who run far ahead of the pope mobile to get a second and sometimes a third look at the Holy Father as he is passing by. We, on the other hand, truly felt it was a “papal dash’ because of the speed at which the driver was going past us:-) We then, headed to the cathedral for our shift at the crypt of the cathedral for Adoration. Before we went to our posts, the sacristan gave us an unexpected gift (are we surprised anymore?:). He walked SMS and I through the vesting rooms of the cathedral and gave us a whole history lesson of the building – it was originally a Benedictine Monastery. He took us to the Cardinal’s vesting room where the Holy Father will vest for Mass tomorrow morning. This will be the Mass SMS will receive Holy Communion from His Holiness. The rooms are filled with portraits fo the first cardinals, also relics – very regal and stately…and old. We were thrilled, to say the least.

We love you and pray for you. God reward you for the various greetings we received on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. To the brides: we just watched the slide show – you all look beautiful and radiant – you were in our hearts and prayers ALL DAY and leading up to the day. To our new novices – your names fit you perfectly – how beautiful they are! We are blessed to have you as our sisters!! We miss you and look forward to sharing more this evening. God bless you!

Sister Grace Helena and Sister Mary Scholastica

Published in: on July 17, 2008 at 11:39 pm  Comments (1)  

Day 11…Celebrating our Lady of Mount Carmel in Australia

Praised be Jesus Christ! Happy feast day of our Lady of Mount Carmel dear Sisters! Our day unfolded to be a bit different than we planned – but all in the good Lord’s plans. We ended up going to one of the catechesis sites (near the college) due to an invitation we had received to attend. Many of the young people were from NY, MN area and it was brought to our attention that they did not usually have an opportunity to see sisters, so we went to be be present with them. It was meant for us to be there as Bishop DiMarzo having a devotion to our Lady of Mount Carmel spoke beautifully about her and the scapular.

SGH and I had a dual shift…meaning I had the the day shift and SGH the evening…and as we usually are present with each other, we ended up having a particularly full day. SGH and I are stationed at St. Mary’s Cathedral pretty much for all our assignments which is a huge gift in itself, as we are the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, our Lady, Bl. Pier Giorgio and so many faith-filled pilgrims. ALSO, the Pope’s residence is right next door believe it or not. B/c our Holy Father was supposed to be arriving today, security was tight to the max. We cannot even begin to tell you how many officers and check points we had to go through. This was quite an adventure in itself.

We have an unexpected GIFT that was given to us today. SGH was assigned down in the crypt where there is on-going adoration. She came to know that our Holy Father was going to be coming into town sooner than later. Sometime in the evening, you could hear the helicopter circling quite low and a bit of commotion off to one end of the outer area of the crypt. Sister non-chalantly walked over and then beckoned for me to come over. I must say that I was a bit hesitant as I could see a lot of police activity and didn’t know if it would be a good idea. But Sister motioned to me again and I KNEW that I had to head over to where she was ASAP. By God’s grace, she and I saw the back of our Holy Father as he came out of the one of the cars and headed into the Cardinal’s residence (which is where he is staying). From what Sister mentioned, he was about 100 yards away from us and minus the security guards and police men, we were the only other ones in the area who knew what was going on. Talk about blessing!

The above note is from the both of us – but I (SMS) wanted to insert this section as a personal note. For the last 2 days, I’ve been working in the Cathedral in the section allotted to Bl. Pier Giorgio. There is truly a genuine joy of the people in wanting to know more about him to such a degree that the joyfulness that was apparent in Pier Giorgio’s life seems to permeate the halls of the Cathedral as well. I had to share this with you as I was one who did not really grow up with a devotion to saints. And speaking about Pier Giorgio to others brought great joy to my own heart in a way that I had not experienced before. Thanks for reading.

SGH’s edit: Pier Giorgio’s niece arrived in town today. We hope to be able to meet her tomorrow as she will be near Bl. Pier Giorgio’s crypt for the next few days. The Holy Father “officially” arrives tomorrow by boat, first, through the harbor; then, he will drive through the streets of Sydney. So, if we have an opportunity to say hello (hey, you never know…we have been receiving an abundance of graces and “surprises” from our Lord…ask big!), we will mention the 3 brides, 2 novices, and our feastday sisters…HAPPY FEASTDAY ‘Up and Over’!!!!

With much love and prayers through the intercession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
Sister Mary Scholastica and Sister Grace Helena

Published in: on July 16, 2008 at 1:18 pm  Comments (3)  

Day 10…Opening Mass for WYD

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

Published in: on July 15, 2008 at 12:41 pm  Comments (2)