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.

Overwhelmed by the waters of Lourdes


WYD Blog image
The grotto.
Friday 12 August - Lourdes

By Lisa Garland, Catholic Youth Parramatta

Today was my favourite day.

We went to the grotto during the day this time for a guided tour.

For once, I already knew what the tour guide was talking about. After our guided tour we had daily Mass at St Anne’s chapel.

The next part of our tour was so intriguing. We were taken to visit St Bernadette’s home.

Once again, I’d read about it in the book about her life and seen photos as it was when she there.

Her home, the Bolly Mill, had pretty much the same structure it had back then. I couldn’t believe I was standing where the Soubirous family lived.

We then went to the old jail where St Bernadette’s father was held prisoner and bought lunch on the run so we could head back down to the Grotto to bath in the healing waters.

Experiencing the healing

WYD Blog image
...the waters of Lourdes.
Bathing in the waters has got to be the most overwhelming experience of this pilgrimage so far.

The guys went to wait in their line (which is always shorter) and us girls sat in our line playing cards to pass the time. The closer we got to the front, the more nervous we became, so much so that we needed to go to the bathroom. We were taken into change rooms with about six girls in it. There, we undressed behind a robe the volunteers held around us. We lined up in front of a curtain which concealed the bath and volunteers who helped and prayed over you.

I was next in line and I was so scared, I don’t know why, I was really excited at first but then I just got nervous. The lady pulled me over to the other side of the curtain where the bath was. Lifting my arms, they quickly removed the robe and wrapped me in a cold, wet cotton sheet. With a volunteer on each arm, I walked down the two steps into 10 degrees Celsius water, continued walking to the end of the bath to kiss the statue of Mary before being laid back into the water up to my neck then pulled straight out.

It was so overwhelming that it took all the strength I had not to breakdown into tears. I really wish I could have brought my mum here, to give her the opportunity to experience this healing.

The candlelight procession took place again but this time I stood at the top balcony level of the Sanctuary and had a birds eye view of all the pilgrims holding their candles, it looked sooooooo cool, then I could see some of our fellow pilgrims getting front seats.

I always knew Lourdes would be my favourite part of the pilgrimage and I’d one day like to go back.

Posted by web at 10:48 AM

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