Page 11, 25th July 2008

25th July 2008
Page 11
Page 11, 25th July 2008 — Sydney, World Youth Day: ■ There's a huge vocations expo.
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Sydney, World Youth Day: ■ There's a huge vocations expo.

One person was amazed that you could have "a whole careers fair" on vocations (including priesthood, religious life, marriage and consecrated single life). In one large hall the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and ranks of priests were on hand to hear confessions. A bunch of us decided to take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and spend some time in Adoration.

Once again, we experienced a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Sydney is awash with life right now. As our pilgrim group makes its way through the streets. We are constantly serenaded by the friendly sounding of horns from enthusiastic locals.

■ The night vigil with the Holy Father has just concluded and, as we shiver through an Australian winter's night under the stars, our hearts are full of memories. The candles, an ocean of burning lights in the hands of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, set the racecourse aglow. Adoration, people falling to their knees around the course and the most exquisite silence as we encountered Jesus, the one we really came to meet. The Holy Father's message: that only by being transformed from within by the Holy Spirit will we be truly alive.

■ The concluding Mass was, of course, fantastic. A line from Cardinal Pell's opening remarks struck a chord with several members of our group: "One mission is worth a thousand opportunities."

The Holy Father took this theme up in his homily whici urged us to become Christ's witnesses in the world.

After we had received Holy Communion there was the most amazing collective silence as hundreds ofthousands made their personal thanksgiving.

■ It's time to head home tomorrow and then the real legacy of WYD08 begins. 'W have been commissioned as Christ's witnesses in the pow. of the Holy Spirit. It's an exc.ing mission; please pray that we may all be faithful to it.

Kurt tarragon




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