World Youth Day, Sydney 2008

The youth have received the power

with one comment

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.



Written by archsa

July 23, 2008 at 1:15 am

One Response

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  1. Cynthia…

    I just got a chance to see your last blog and the videos. They were great.

    Welcome home.

    Loretta Reyes

    Loretta Reyes

    July 30, 2008 at 1:39 pm

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