World Youth Day, Sydney 2008

This is a test

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This is also a test.

Written by archsa

October 1, 2009 at 2:01 pm

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Voices for the Voiceless

 

 

“I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry of complaint…, so I know well what they are suffering.  Therefore I have come down to rescue them….  I will send you to Pharaoh to lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt” (Ex. 3:7-10).

 

The story of God’s relationship with his people is one of salvation, one of mission, of love and compassion, courage and trust.  Above are the words that God spoke to Moses from the burning bush.  In these words, we witness God’s hesed, his loving mercy, his compassion.  God hears the cries of his people.  And he sends his servants to be his voice and instruments as he rescues them.

 

Which are the voices today that cry out to God?  I believe these voices are many.  They are the voices of each one of us, as we wonder about the future of our economy.  We worry about the world that we leave for our children and grandchildren.  God hears the cries of those whose concerns are more urgent: those who have lost their jobs, those struggling with debilitating illnesses, those who have lost a loved one to violence, and countless others.  God hears the cries of those whose voices have been silenced: victims of war, of genocide, of racism, of poverty, and of those who have yet to be born.  Their silent cries reach the ears and heart of our loving and compassionate God.  God then turns to us to be voices for the voiceless.  We do this through our solidarity in prayer, our love in action, and our commitment in our vote.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that it is our moral duty to vote (CCC 2240).  I exhort you, then, to read the bishops’ statement, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” (www.faithfulcitizenship.org), find out the candidates’ positions on the issues, take your deliberations to prayer, and then vote!

 

Bishop Oscar Cantú

Written by archsa

November 3, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

leave a comment »

Voices for the Voiceless

 

 

“I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry of complaint…, so I know well what they are suffering.  Therefore I have come down to rescue them….  I will send you to Pharaoh to lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt” (Ex. 3:7-10).

 

The story of God’s relationship with his people is one of salvation, one of mission, of love and compassion, courage and trust.  Above are the words that God spoke to Moses from the burning bush.  In these words, we witness God’s hesed, his loving mercy, his compassion.  God hears the cries of his people.  And he sends his servants to be his voice and instruments as he rescues them.

 

Which are the voices today that cry out to God?  I believe these voices are many.  They are the voices of each one of us, as we wonder about the future of our economy.  We worry about the world that we leave for our children and grandchildren.  God hears the cries of those whose concerns are more urgent: those who have lost their jobs, those struggling with debilitating illnesses, those who have lost a loved one to violence, and countless others.  God hears the cries of those whose voices have been silenced: victims of war, of genocide, of racism, of poverty, and of those who have yet to be born.  Their silent cries reach the ears and heart of our loving and compassionate God.  God then turns to us to be voices for the voiceless.  We do this through our solidarity in prayer, our love in action, and our commitment in our vote.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that it is our moral duty to vote (CCC 2240).  I exhort you, then, to read the bishops’ statement, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” (www.faithfulcitizenship.org), find out the candidates’ positions on the issues, take your deliberations to prayer, and then vote!

 

Bishop Oscar Cantú

Written by archsa

November 3, 2008 at 9:56 pm

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The youth have received the power

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Greetings all!

It is great to be back in San Antonio. We were the first group to return and we arrived  on 7-21-08 at around 9:20 PM and after a delayed flight we were ecstatic to be back. We departed Sydney on 7-21-08 at 10:20 AM and arrived in Los Angeles on 7-21-08 at 6:45 AM. Due to the large time difference it was like we went back in time and we can actually say that we saw the sun rise twice in the same day.

As you may have noticed, I did not have internet access the last few days that we were in Sydney but I did want to post one last blog to summarize the entire World Youth Day experience.

In total we spent about two and a half weeks out of the United States. The group that Bishop Cantu and I were in spent a few days in New Zealand where we learned many things about the prominent Maori culture. Below is one highlight of the culture when we were first greeted by an official Maori greeting which consisted of rubbing of the noses. This was a bit interesting for us, but the overall stay in New Zealand was an amazing experience filled with wonderful people, extremely cold weather and beautiful country sides.

After our departure from New Zealand we then arrived in Melbourne, Australia and the second and third of the San Antonio groups arrived in Brisbane, Australia where we all experienced our “Days in the Dioceses” part of the trip. This is where we learn history on various dioceses within Australia. We were able to attend youth festivals which consisted of live bands and talks. We also visted different parishes within our assigned diocese. In our first few days in Australia, we were able to meet many wonderful people and become educated on Australian culture. This was also the time when the Pope landed in Australia which was really uplifting and inspiring as we looked forward to seeing him in Sydney.

After a few days in our assigned dioceses, all four San Antonio groups and all other pigrims united in Sydney, Australia for a week long of WYD festivities. This week seemed to be the point where most of the spiritual and faith strengthening experiences occured. Rather than sleeping in host family houses, we slept in sleeping bags on gym or classroom floors. We walked most places as opposed to being driven around by our host families. We sink washed our clothes, had no privacy, ate odd foods and took 3 minute showers. Although this may sound like a rough time, it actually enabled us to take the focus off of ourselves and see the true reason we were in Australia. We were called to Australia to become witnesses of God through the Holy Spirit so that we could recieve the power that we needed to return to our communities and make witnesses out of everyone we meet.

One question that is always asked following a WYD experience is “Did you get to see the Pope?” Our group came within atleast 10 feet of him on a couple of occasions. Our Holy Father provided us with many inspiring words as we are the future of the Catholic church, and also encouraged us to think about future generations of Catholics.

I will leave you with my final video of WYD 2008. Please continue to pray for those still returning home from Australia. If you just can’t get enough of this WYD coverage, see future issues of Today’s Catholic including articles written by myself. Thank you for reading and commenting. It has been a pleasure.

-Cynthia

Written by archsa

July 23, 2008 at 1:15 am

The Pope Celebrates our Final Mass

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Today (7-20-08) was our final event for World Youth Day and the most exciting. How exciting it was to wake up on the race track with all the other pilgrims who had camped out with us. It was so cold but it was an amazing experience I will never forget.

 

We all woke up and tried to stay warm it was so cold out there. We had our final mass of World Youth Day and Pope Benedict XVI was our celebrant. Everyone was so excited to have him come celebrate with us. When he finally arrived he was escorted around the race track in his Pope mobile. It was so exciting everyone crowed the race track to see him and wave.

 

Once he circled the track a couple of times he got down and headed to the main stage on the track where he was going to celebrate our final Mass. It was a wonderful and beautiful Mass. The readings were all done in different languages from around the world which was really neat. There were also 24 candidates that joined us who would be confirmed by the Pope at this Mass. What an honor it must have been for those that were chosen.

 

Once the mass was over Pope Benedict did a special blessing from all that were present and then he announced were the next World Youth Day would be in 2011. I’m sure everyone has heard, but in case you didn’t it will be in Madrid, Spain. As all the excitement settled down and everyone headed out of the race track it was a sad but exciting time for everyone.

 

 I know myself I was ready to get a shower and a warm bed. We had completed our last event of World Youth Day. That was it we had all done what we came all the way to Australia for and now we have to take everything we have experienced and learned here home and spread it to everyone around us. Because after all that is what this whole experience was all about. Just like the theme says: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be may witnesses” (Acts 1:8)That what we must remember when we go back to our everyday lives. While we were here we were surrounded by other Catholics who believe the same thing we do but once we go back to the “real world” that is not always the case. We have to take what we have received from the Holy Spirit while on this journey and spread it to those that may not know the “TRUTH.”

 

This was may final blog for World Youth Day and I really hope everyone who read got a little something out of what I shared. I have really enjoyed writing and sharing with everyone the wonderful experience while I’ve been here in Australia it has truly been a blessing and a journey in my life I will never forget. Thanks for reading.

 

Rachel Martinez

Written by archsa

July 20, 2008 at 10:06 am

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A Special Way of the Cross

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Today (7-18-08) was another event filled day. This morning we had catechesis again and had the honor of listening to the Archbishop of Buringham, Bishop Nichols, speak with us more about the Holy Spirit. The theme today was “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;and you will be my witnesses” Acts 1:8. He talked about testing our faith in the Holy Spirit and believing that the Holy Spirit is the most important thing in our lifes as Catholics, and how this wonderful experience we are taking part is should be charished and taken home to spread to others. He also talked about how the Holy Spirit is the outpouring of the good news and that when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, it is God telling us how much he loves us.

 

One thing that really struck me was when he spoke about us having a mission in life. Our mission is take what we have been given and spread it to others. We should also always remember to keep our faith and that it should never be private. We have the right to speak freely about God and his news anywhere we may be. That means we don’t have to only speak of God at church, as if it was some kind of “club”. He was a wonderful speaker.

 

After catechesis we had lunch and walked down to Barangaroo for a live station of the cross. It was amazing. The Intro was done and each station was done in a different area. The first station was at St Mary’s Cathedral then the second and was at the Domain.  Every station after that was some at a new setting. It was amazing to watch. I really wish we could have done the walk with Jesus unfortunately we didn’t have that option but it was still really nice to watch on the big screen.

 

After stations there was a little concert and we headed back home to get some rest and pack to sleep under the stars tomorrow night. Only a few more days I can’t believe this is all almost over. It’s sad to say but everything has been wonderful so far and I am sure it will only get better.

 

Rachel Martinez

Written by archsa

July 20, 2008 at 9:58 am

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Koalas are for Bishops

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Cardinal George Pell, the archbishop of Sydney, hosted the bishops and cardinals to a luncheon Saturday afternoon.  At the end of the meal, we were treated by the local zoo to some of the more interesting Australian animals, such as the Koala bear.  Above you see Bishop Tamayo of Laredo petting one of the koalas.

The above picture is from the welcome ceremony for Pope Benedict XVI.  It was dubbed by the media, “Super Thursday.”  The Holy Father gave a beautiful and inspiring homily, encouraging the youth to seek the truth, Jesus Christ.

Cuddly Koala

Cuddly Koala

 

It was interesting to see the bishops when the koalas and other animals were brought in to the lunch room.  We were told that Koalas are especially sensitive to noise and movement, and so we were asked to remain seated.  It was interesting to see how grown, responsible men revert back to 12 year olds when in the presence of interesting animals!  No one paid attention to the request, but rushed the animal handlers.  Very few petted the bat, some petted the python, and everyone rushed the poor, scared koalas!

From down under,

-Bishop Cantu

Written by archsa

July 19, 2008 at 8:07 am

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