Catholic Youth Parramatta


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WYD pilgrim interviews

Claire Brown

Claire Brown

Claire Brown is a member of St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook. During WYD Madrid in 2011 Claire had the experience of the lunch of a lifetime, sharing a meal with Pope Benedict XVI and a group of young people.

“WYD is a peaceful time, a time I will never forget, of experiencing God in a whole new way,” Claire said.

Father Larry Tolentino

Deacon Larry Tolentino

Fr Larry Tolentino was ordained a Priest of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta in June 2012. At the time the above interview was recorded, Fr Larry was a transitional deacon, based at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Greystanes.

“After WYD Madrid I realised I have so much to share … I only needed the enlivening of the Holy Spirit in me to be able to share with people how good the Lord is and how WYD can transform one’s life,” Fr Larry said.

Annelise O'Brien-Muller

Annalise O’Brien-Muller
Annelise O’Brien-Muller is a member of St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Parramatta, and the Event Manager with Catholic Youth Services, Sydney.

“WYD has encouraged me in my faith to know there is a huge community of young people out there who believe exactly what I do,” Annelise said.

Jay Pamintuan...

...Annelise & Jay

Jay Pamintuan and Annalise O’Brien-Muller

Jay Pamintuan is a member of St Michael’s Parish, South Blacktown. Jay and Annelise O’Brien-Muller became engaged during WYD Madrid 2011.

“Thru the Holy Spirit I have fallen in love with Jesus once again. Through WYD I have come to know and understand I have a greater purpose in this Universal Church,” Jay said.


Chris del Rosario

Christopher del Rosario

Christopher del Rosario is from Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Rouse Hill, and a seminarian for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.

“WYD has changed my entire perception of my faith. It is something to be treasured, to be loved, to be proud of. WYD is the greatest experience you will ever have. I guarantee you will come back a better person. Just say yes, God will take care of the rest,” Chris said.

John Paul Escarlan

John Paul Escarlan
John Paul Escarlan was born in in Cebu in the Philippines. He is now a seminarian for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.

“Young people have shown the world that WYD is about faith in God, a firm faith in Jesus Christ. My faith has grown a lot since WYD in Madrid in 2011.

“As a seminarian there is a sense of more clarity, more certainty, that this vocation is my calling; it is God’s will for me. If you are thinking of going to WYD in Rio, you must go. WYD will be a God-filled and faith-filled experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.”

Jack Green

Jack Green
Jack Green is from St John Vianney’s Parish at Doonside and is a seminarian for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.

“At WYD in Madrid I learned that you have to put everything into your faith, you can’t be half for Christ and half for yourself or half for your friends. You’ve got to be completely for Christ.

“He will take you down interesting paths, like joining the seminary, but if you trust Him He will give you the greatest joy. If you’re thinking about going to WYD in Rio just go, don’t delay. It’s the best experience you will ever have – it will change you.”

Mei Loong

Mei Loong

Mei Loong is a member of St Andrew's Parish, Marayong, and a part of the Parish's youth ministry Youthworks!

“WYD has challenged me to take on more responsibility; to learn more about my faith. It’s an opportunity to ask questions and to search for the answers. It’s a great experience that God is calling all young people to.”

Mary Gale

Mary Gale is a member of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Upper Blue Mountains Parish (Katoomba, Leura and Wentworth Falls). Mary is currently discerning her vocation with the Nashville Dominicans.

“WYD has enriched my experience of my faith; being given the responsibility to bring Christ to others. If you’re thinking of coming to WYD in Rio, make the effort to go. It’s an amazing experience. God really wants to touch your heart in a special way, be open to the grace he wants to give you.”

Danielle Rowe

Danielle Rowe is a member of Good Shepherd Parish, Plumpton and a member of Plumpton Antioch.

“WYD has definitely changed my experience of faith for the better. Since returning from WYD I have attended Mass every day, which is a new thing for me but I absolutely love it. Learning about my faith and why I do the things I do as a Catholic has been incredible because I didn’t know before, and now I do and I’m able to help others to find God’s love in that way.”