Bishop Mark Edwards
First published in the Herald Sun on 20 July 2016.
More than 3000 Australian youth are brimming with excitement at the prospect of attending a Papal mass with 2.5 million devoted Catholics in Poland.
Among Victorians heading to World Youth Day in Krakow are five students from Catholic Regional College Sydenham.
Andrew Owen, 16, said he had travelled overseas before but this would be different: He had a spiritual purpose.
“It’s not a holiday. It’s not a time for us to relax. It’s time for us to build connections, to think, reflect and be spiritual with other people. It’s about understanding our faith better,” Andrew said.
The students agreed seeing Pope Francis and celebrating the open air mass would be the highlight.
Geraldine Vytilingam, 16, said: “It’s literally a dream come true. I’m really excited to meet Pope Francis. I think he is an incredible example of mercy.” Continue reading
Justin Faehrmann, 24, Asheligh Green, 24, and Laura McAlister, 27. Picture: Hollie Adams
First published in The Australian on 19 July 2016.
In the Middle Ages, Catholic pilgrims donned leather sandals and headed to the Holy Land, Santiago de Compostela and other sacred sites in a rite of passage bringing them closer to their faith.
Centuries on, they’re continuing the tradition with a contemporary twist, clutching Havaianas, iPhones and international air tickets as they head to Cracow, Poland, for World Youth Day, which kicks off next week.
More than 2.5 million young Catholics will attend the event — the largest in the Catholic Church’s international calendar — including a contingent of more than 3000 from Australia.
“It feels like no one’s left in town,” Ashleigh Green, 24, said as she prepared to head to Europe.
Ms Green, who studies social work in Ray Haven on the NSW central coast, will meet six members of her church for a week-long tour of Germany before joining more than 230 parishioners from the Broken Bay diocese.
Other Sydneysiders Laura McAlister of East Killara and Justin Faehrmann of North Strathfield also left at the weekend for the pilgrimage, which culminates in an all-night vigil and morning mass hosted by Pope Francis, attended by more than 2.5 million. Continue reading
Parramatta pilgrims carry out mission projects across Bohol, Philippines. Photo from Diocese of Parramatta.
Over the past few days, Australian pilgrims, group leaders, bishops and chaplains have commenced their pilgrimage to World Youth Day.
There are more than 30 different Cosmos pilgrimages currently taking place with some groups visiting holy places while others complete a mission project in a place of need.
The ACBC Office for Youth provides a snapshot below of just some of the wonderful pilgrimage experiences taking place.
One of the Diocese of Parramatta’s pilgrimages to World Youth Day 2016 has begun on the island of Bohol, Philippines.
The Bishop of Tagbilaran, Most Rev Leonardo Y Medroso DD, formally welcomed pilgrims to the Diocese of Tagbilaran and spoke about the experience of mercy. Continue reading
Thousands of Aussie pilgrims are departing from Australia over the coming days to join with millions of youth from around the world as they meet with Pope Francis in Krakow, Poland for the 2016 World Youth Day (WYD).
Of the 3,000 Australian pilgrims participating at WYD, 2350 are travelling with Cosmos, the official Australian Tour Operator designated by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for WYD 2016.
Cosmos are providing 37 different pilgrimage itineraries across Europe with 63 coaches, each with a dedicated tour guide.
Cosmos National Marketing Manager for Australia Chris Fundell said it was a huge honour to be chosen as the official tour operator for this task.
“This is an extraordinary event to be involved in and one of the largest group operations Cosmos has ever arranged,” said Mr Fundell. Continue reading
In advance of World Youth Day 2016, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is closely following the recent violent events in France and Turkey.
Over the past 48 hours, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has monitored the situation by checking the safety of Australian pilgrimage groups travelling throughout Europe prior to World Youth Day.
Communication is ongoing between the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade regarding the latest travel advice updates. A high degree of caution must be exercised if travelling to France, Israel and Turkey. Continue reading
Many friends, family and parishioners will have the opportunity to follow Australia’s journey to the city of mercy as 2,500 World Youth Day pilgrims travelling to Poland with the live web cast of events from Krakow through the digital platform Xt3.com.
From 26-31 July, main events from Krakow will be broadcast live at: www.xt3.com/live.
Xt3, meaning Christ in the Third Millennium, is a website and digital resource that began in 2008 during World Youth Day, Sydney, as a way to connect pilgrims. It has since developed into a hub of Catholic online resources.
Hosted by the Archdiocese of Sydney, Xt3 is a digital resource where Catholic events can be viewed live from the comfort of your own home, such as the meeting of Pope Francis with the youth of the world in Krakow during World Youth Day this month.
Given the international time difference, the World Youth Day events will be available to watch at any time after the live web cast has been broadcast.
A unique feature of the Xt3 live web cast is the ability for viewers to comment online and join in solidarity with those present and others watching from around the world. Social media posts using the hash tag #AussiePilgrims will be published on screen during the live web cast. Continue reading
Final preparations are underway to support more than 2500 Australian pilgrims, chaplains, bishops and leaders during World Youth Day (WYD) next month from 25-31 July in Krakow, Poland.
Pilgrimage coordinators from across the country gathered in Sydney last week for a national briefing to share pastoral preparation, pre-WYD pilgrimages, logistics, evangelisation strategies and post-WYD retreats. Those who could not make it to Sydney joined the meeting through an Xt3 webcast, organised by the Archdiocese of Sydney. Continue reading
Nineteen Australian bishops will pack their bags for World Youth Day next month, proving age is no barrier to participation in the World’s largest youth event.
The faith filled festival will take place in Krakow, Poland from 25 – 31 July, with more than 2,500 Aussie pilgrims attending including teachers, chaplains, youth leaders and those who may be unsure about their faith.
Half of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will participate in World Youth Day celebrating St John Paul’s vision for young people, renewed again with the presence of Pope Francis.
President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, said, ‘World Youth Day is a unique opportunity for young people to deepen their faith and unity with the Pope and with each other. It is often a life-changing experience’.
‘During the five World Youth Days that I have attended, I have found my faith encouraged by the joy and deepening faith of beautiful young people,’ Archbishop Hart added. Continue reading
As Australian pilgrims we travel as one people to celebrate
God’s love and mercy at World Youth Day in Krakow.
We pray for our own personal transformation:
God of mercy, transform me,
that my eyes may be merciful,
that I may marvel at the beauty of my neighbour’s heart.
Transform me, O God,
that my ears may be merciful,
that I may be attentive to those in need.
Transform me, O God,
that my tongue may be merciful,
that all I proclaim is in love and peace. Continue reading
The Victorian World Youth Day Pilgrimage gathered together in Melbourne on Saturday, May 23 to prepare for the pilgrimage to World Youth Day (WYD) in Krakow, Poland in July 2016.
Around three hundred pilgrims gathered for a day of getting to know each other, formation and prayer as well as the challenge of an Amazing Race! The day began with a Leaders’ Preparation and Formation session, then at 11am all the pilgrims gathered together for the first time. Continue reading