Tag Archives: Faith

Pope calls young people to teach us how to live in diversity, in dialogue and to experience multiculturalism

Pope Francis arriving at Campus Misericordiae

World Youth Day, Prayer Vigil, 30 July 2016

Dear Young Friends, good evening!

It is good to be here with you at this Prayer Vigil!

At the end of her powerful and moving witness, Rand asked something of us.  She said: “I earnestly ask you to pray for my beloved country”.  Her story, involving war, grief and loss, ended with a request for prayers.  Is there a better way for us to begin our vigil than by praying?

We have come here from different parts of the world, from different continents, countries, languages, cultures and peoples.  Some of us are sons and daughters of nations that may be at odds and engaged in various conflicts or even open war.  Others of us come from countries that may be at “peace”, free of war and conflict, where most of the terrible things occurring in our world are simply a story on the evening news.  But think about it. Continue reading

Highlights from the Australian Gathering at World Youth Day 2016

IMG_8987_OpMore than 3,000 young people from across the Australian dioceses and half of the Australian Catholic bishops gathered at Tauron arena on Tuesday 26 July 2016 to celebrate their faith, national identity and the beginning of World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.

The two-hour gathering was filled with prayer, testimonies from young people, music and catechesis. Bishop Patrick O’Regan preached the homily and Bishop Peter Comensoli delivered a ‘call to action’ to young young. Two young people, Chris Lee from Parramatta diocese and Sr Elizabeth from Port Pirie diocese, gave witness to how they have received God’s mercy in their lives. Their authentic accounts described how we can discover God’s mercy when we show mercy to others, it is through our acts of mercy that God reveals his merciful heart to us. Sr Elizabeth said, ‘I thought by being committed to God, I would simply receive his mercy’.

Bishop Mark Edwards, Australian Bishops Delegate for Youth; Kelly Paget, Diocese of Broken Bay and Sunil Mohanaraj, Archdiocese of Adelaide were the MC’s.

Genevieve Bryant, Fr Rob Galea and the Salvatorians Soul band provided the festival music that had the entire gathering on their feet within seconds. Malcolm Hart, Director of the ACBC Office for Youth, unveiled an invitation to all of the young people to get involved in the the ‘Year of Youth’ 2018.

There was a beautiful period of reflection as the musicians sang a decade of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Watch highlights from the Australian gathering below.

The Australian gathering can be viewed online via a web cast from Xt3.

Pilgrims Walk in the Footsteps of the Saints

Siena_200Over the past few days, Aussie pilgrims moved to ‘Days in the Diocese’ hosted by Polish parishes and families across the country. Meanwhile, other diocesan and religious groups continued their pre-World Youth Day pilgrimages in Europe before arriving into Krakow over the weekend.

The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are currently on pilgrimage in Italy following in the footsteps of the Saints from Milan to Padua, Assisi to Cascia; the resting place of St Rita, Saint of the Impossible.

There are 71 pilgrims journeying to World Youth Day from the diocese. Blogging about the experience, Joanne Isaac wrote, ‘On Sunday morning we visited the Basilica of St Anthony in Padua (Padova). In Italy, St Anthony is simply known as Il Santo (The Saint) as he is the only one to be canonised less than a year after his death in 1231. He turned his back on wealth to live in simplicity and dedicate his life to God. He was a great preacher and a Doctor of the Church.

Pilgrims from the Maitland-Newcastle Diocesan Group.

Pilgrims from the Maitland-Newcastle WYD Pilgrimage.

The Basilica belongs to the Vatican so, as our tour guide Sal pointed out, “You’ll have one foot in Italy and one foot in the Vatican”. Every year 4.5 million people visit the church to venerate the relics of St Anthony – his incorrupt tongue, his jawbone and his vocal apparatus.’ Continue reading

Victorian students among 3000 Australian youth attending World Youth Day in Poland

Bishop Mark Edwards

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