WYD: " Basques, Britons, Albanians, and Californians " Print
Written by Sherry   
Saturday, 19 July 2008 09:56
Apparently, they'll let just anybody into WYD. :-}

This just in from Clara at WYD, who is settling down for the very short sleep of the just before her 5 am Sunday morning wake up call:

"We completed the 10km walk with reasonable ease. The spectacle of people and flags of every nation while crossing the Harbour Bridge was breathtaking and made the whole walk feel much shorter. It is interesting to note that it is not so much nationalism that is being celebrated as regional culture - there are flags from the Basque region, from Brittany, even a flag from the "Californian Republic" carried by a group of Hispanic youths who do some great chants. I spoke to some Albanians who were surprised I recognised their flag - their national group consists of four persons!

Yesterday I blogged about the luxurious surroundings in which we watched the Stations of the Cross courtesy of VIP passes from Bishop Anthony Fisher OP. (Clara and Bishop Fisher have been friends since they were undergraduate classmates together.) This evening we, and some of our friends turned down the VIP tickets for the Vigil so we could have what my son Dominic described as a 'genuine' pilgrim experience. It was great fun as we huddled under space blankets and participated in the liturgy with half a million pilgrims. The weather has been perfect at around 20 degrees C each day. This evening is forecast to be around 10C. During the evening there was hardly a breath of wind which facilitated the candlelit vigil. The Holy Father focused on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and all the bishops were invited to call down the Spirit on the assembled gathering. Awesome.

Caroline is with a youth group, and Michael and the boys are camped next to five French-speaking priests from Congo. As I tucked the boys into their sleeping bags, Dominic asked me to pass him his rosary beads which were tied to his backpack. He informed me he was going to say the Rosary before sleep, because that is what you do on pilgrimages.

It is now six minutes past midnight. My alarm is set for 5am so I can get to Randwick by 6.30am where they will serve breakfast. Morning Prayer is at 8.00 and Mass at 10.00. I haven't passed up the VIP passes for the Final Mass. They are good seats with a reasonably close to the sanctuary and hopefully a good view of the Holy Father.

One more day and then I think my children are planning to attend the next one!"