Friday, July 18, 2008

When brothers dwell in unity

Sent by Diane Pickert - Director of Youth Ministry, St. Gabriel Parish

An actor portraying Jesus carries his cross during the Stations of the Cross at World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, July 18. (CNS Photo/Paul Haring)

Today we enjoyed a beautiful live rendition of the Stations of the Cross. It was very moving and set the tone for what we are about to experience with our Holy Father tomorrow. After today's catechesis, the youth and young adults were challenged with the word "responsibility". We've asked then to ponder that word for the next couple of days.

We've been able to meet so many people from many other countries and talk about their faith lives. We met a young man from Pakistan the first day we were here. He actually had dinner with us and told us that only 1% of the population of Pakistan are Christians and 50% of that 1% are Catholic. He was so faith filled and passionate about being a part of a youth group able to join the rest of his fellow teens in this celebration. His hope is to spread the word of God in Pakistan bringing more to the Catholic faith. Our teens were encouraged by his enthusiasm, and actually energized by him. Several made the comment of how fortunate we are in our country to have so many more Catholics to celebrate our faith with.

As a matter of fact we have run into so many fellow Catholic teens and leaders from St. Louis, MO, as well as many teens from all over the U.S. We will celebrate Mass tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. with all the U.S. Pilgrims at the Domain (near Woolloomooloo and adjacent to the Royal Botanic Gardens) giving our teens a better sense of youth that are willing and able to travel half way around the world to celebrate their faith.