World Youth Day, Sydney 2008

Guest Blogger

with 7 comments

One of my friends Clair Lavender is going to do the blog for today because I think it will be a great story to share with everyone. Clair and her friend Lauren had the honor of riding on a boat behind the pope. It was a pretty awesome experience. I was jealous. I hope you don’t mind this blog was for 7/17/08. Sorry I sent two today it’s been a little hard to have access to a computer.




Rachel Martinez


Greetings San Antonio! Today your writer will be me! Clair Lavender! Waking up this morning, it was just like any other day, we headed on over to Holy Cross for religious instruction and were greeted with some good music and strong accents from the Birmingham group. Bishop Christopher spoke to us about the Holy Spirit. We talked about using our gifts and not abusing them. Organization is good, “chaos is the work of the devil!”


We then celebrated mass and Lauren Palmieri and I headed out early to catch our boat! Let me explain: Lauren entered into a drawing by signing up on an xt3 profile page where her name was drawn along with 100 others to board one of ten boats that would follow the pope to his first major appearance during World Youth Day! Lauren, Chris Henderson, Becky Martinez and I jumped a couple buses, got lost and then found a really nice Aussie Guide that got us exactly to where we needed to be ten minutes early!


 Lauren and I boarded the boat and headed off pretty quickly. As the pope boarded his boat the other boats began screaming and waving their flags! His boat drove right by ours and we all leaned as far as we could to get a good glimpse. Lauren and I were a little afraid the boat was going to tip because literally everyone was on one side of the boat!


We then trailed behind his boat and followed him to Bangaroo. He was greeted with a dance performed by the Aborigines and everyone on the boat headed inside to watch on the widescreen tv. Pope Benedict gave his address as we all stared at the screen, clapping, gasping, and laughing as if we were actually there. During commercials we would run outside and listen to the crowd chanting. As Pope Benedict began his route on the Pope-mobile we could see people running around after him, flags shaking and country’s chanting.


It was very exciting to watch! Once the Pope-mobile was out of sight we continued to watch on the television. As Lauren and I began mingling, I met a guy who will be playing Jesus on the sixth station tomorrow and Lauren was finally able to trade with the Italians and get the hat she’d been admiring since we first arrived. The boat went back around the harbor which was an excellent spot for pictures of the city, the opera house, and the bridge lit up at night. We found the group waiting for us and we headed over to the park to eat and check out the festivities. We were all pretty tired but I had the chance to watch a performance by the people of Fiji! (Very cool!) We headed back- took two buses and had a bit of walking, but we made it! Time for internet, showers (if they’re open) and bed! Tomorrow is another day!


Written by archsa

July 17, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses

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  1. Clair I was looking for you and Lauren as I watching the boats on T.V. I could feel the excitement !!! I pray that all of you kids and parents are safe. May you all continue to feel the goodness that God gives us. Love and God Bless. Mrs. Montemayor

    Jackie Montemayor

    July 18, 2008 at 8:39 am



    July 18, 2008 at 9:27 am

  3. Awesome piece darlin! First The Battalion and now international blogging. Wow. Haha, have fun sugar. See y’all when y’all get back!

    kEn HiX

    July 18, 2008 at 4:17 pm

  4. I keep reading the blog, trying to experience the excitement that you guys must have felt! Lauren, I’m so proud of you!!! And Clair (my other child) I’m glad you experienced it with Lauren!! We miss you all, and can’t wait to see you. Tell Father Francis, and Chris, and everyone that we miss them too.

    We’re praying for you all!

    Elia Palmieri

    July 18, 2008 at 11:56 pm

  5. Clair! So cool to be surfing around looking for WYD info and find you and Bishop Cantu are blogging buds. So proud of you! We Deals are anxiously awaiting the announcement of the next WYD location. I’m not saying that we’re placing bets, but……Anyway, have a wonderful time and safe journey home. Mrs. Deal


    July 19, 2008 at 6:11 pm

  6. Clair,
    So excited for you and Lauren. We watched every possible moment on TV down at SPI. With no computer we dove into the website upon our return. So proud of you both and can’t wait to live it through your stories upon your return. God Bless, Coach

    Sally Nordman

    July 25, 2008 at 11:13 am

  7. Clair, just had a chance to check this site, and was so happy to see your blog. How exciting for you and Lauren! We watched as much as we could, always scanning the crowd for Texas flags or red-haired girls.
    Wecome home, can’t wait to hear your stories.
    Love, Mrs. Harkins

    P. Harkins

    July 25, 2008 at 12:11 pm

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