Catholic Youth Parramatta

pilgrims PRAYER

A prayer for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta's pilgrims travelling to World Youth Day 2011 Madrid.


Ever loving God, we give you thanks for the many blessing we receive in this life. Thank you for the gift of World Youth Day to our young people. We ask your blessing on all our Pilgrims at World Youth Day in Madrid. Bless them on their pilgrimage and help them to build on the many graces and experiences that were the fruit of the World Youth Day in Sydney.


Guide them along right paths by bestowing on them the power of the Holy Spirit, so that they may continue to be your witnesses in the world.


May this pilgrimage renew their faith and confidence in you, and strengthen the bond of communion as they journey together, so that the fruits of their experience might bring renewal to the Church of Parramatta.


We ask this through the intercession of Our Lady of the Southern Cross and in the name of our Lord Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God forever and ever.



Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop. Pray for us.

Blessed John Paul II. Pray for us.


The Pilgrims that Rocked the Boat in Galilee


From Group 10, Catholic Education, Parramatta Diocese

(Written by Carol, Justin, Nicole, Christel, Lorelle, Kathleen, Adrian, Joshua and Khaylin)

It has only been a week in the Holy Land and the 'Bus Bandits of Bus B' led by the brilliant Carol already have a life time worth of tales. So for you at home four portraits have been worded to provide but a glimpse into this amazing pilgrimage.

Mt Beatitudes
After completing the challenging journey from Jordan to Israel, we summoned the last of our resolve to push ourselves to the top of Mt Beatitudes.

Upon arriving at the beautiful Mediterranean, the climate engulfed us and a stunning vista of Lake Galilee surrounded us. All pilgrims sat around the outdoor theatre whilst the clergy who were framed by the incredible view provided a Mass to never be forgotten.

The sun danced across Lake Galilee and Fr Warren's wisdom on the beatitudes flowed forth. After the Mass all felt enriched however also shocked! This beautiful land was nothing like the Israel we had pre conceived. During reflection time that evening all of the Bus Bandits agreed that their view on Israel had been tipped up side down.

Regardless of what any one else had ever said or what the media had portrayed, we knew we were in the Promised Land.

Mt Beatitudes.

Boat Mass On Sea of Galilee
By way of boat all the pilgrims sailed out onto the sea of Gallilee. The two boats were harnessed together so that one mass could be shared by all.

Bishop Anthony spoke with an honest love on a truly relevant issue for all young adults - vocation. Upon the conlcusion of one of -  if not the - greatest of Masses the Bus Bandits have ever experienced, we were treated to a musical surprise.

Live Israeli folk music with electronic production and an amplified violinist! Across both boats the atmosphere was electric, leading us in dance was the brilliant Carol!

 Mass on the Sea of Galilee.

Passing through the military check point and into the West Bank we made our way to Bethlehem. It was immediately clear this was an impoverished land made up Israel's minorities, aching from conflict. We all felt a sense of humility as we reflected on our petty woes in the scene of hardship lived by these forgotten people, today and tomorrow.

Humbly, we entered the church built atop the area believed to be the location of Jesus' birth. The reverence and bueaty of the church is indescribable, not even photos could truly capture. After having time to meditate, pray and show adoration we celebrated yet another beautiful mass.

Garden of Gethsemane
In the evening we travelled back to the garden and the Church of the Agony where Jesus wept as his disciples slept. Here, we took part in a Holy Hour to contemplate the agony of our Lord in the darkened Basilica. All of us felt overwhelmed with compassion for Jesus in his hours before his arrest. It was clear that people were moved so greatly there were tears. Many felt a close and real presence of God.

Church of the Agony.



Posted by blog-hlm at 5:06 AM

Tags: World   Youth   Day

Comments & Responses

what a wonderful surprise to get on the blog today and read such a large number of inspirational,movin,open, honest and spiritually engaging stories form our young people walking in Christs footsteps.I have been moved to tears and thank all for sharing your journey,and faith with us all. your sentiments have been echoed through the text messages I have recieved regularly from my daughter but in the last few days I have had a deep sense that she is really touched and changed by this journey and the people she is sharing it with. she is truly blessed to be walking this path . God bless you all,you are in our thoughts . A special thankyou to the priests and adult leaders who are enabling our young people to grow in faith on this journey
Posted by: Lucy Hatton on 15/08/2011 8:45:40 PM(Reply)

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