Catholic Register Staff

Catholic Register Staff

For Wednesday, July 16

SYDNEY, Australia - Morning catechesis at 9 a.m. began with praise and worship songs at St. Philip Neri church. There was the sacrament of Reconciliation from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. We started by playing a game to get to know everyone.

SYDNEY, Australia - When heading out of the hostel early this morning, I could tell right away that something would be different about today. There was a buzz, to be precise. Police officers and city officials were prepping for Pope Benedict's official arrival here in Sydney. Streets were filled with pilgrims who continually shouted slogans such as "B-e-n-e-d-i-c-t-o."

For Wednesday July 16, 2008

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Today was the first day that I felt fully adjusted to the time change. I got up and was ready for what the day had to throw at me. Our days have been packed solid with many different activities. If you don't get a good night's rest, it's guaranteed you'll struggle the next day. Come to think of it, I should catch up on some sleep with it being 2 a.m., Friday morning here in Sydney.

SYDNEY, Australia - The Toronto delegation finally landed in Sydney yesterday -- two hours past  our expected arrival time. We had decided to leave early because our group heard that the Melbourne Airport was busy with the many pilgrims scrambling to get to Sydney.

Sydney, Australia - Ottawa and Winnipeg pilgrims slept at St. Thomas More parish in Auckland (NZ) last night and left the church at 3:45 a.m. to go to the airport. They had Mass at 5:30 a.m. at the airport, before leaving Auckland at 7:40 a.m.

MELBOURNE, Australia - Australian and Canadian culture were central to the itinerary as both St. Kevin’s and Patrick parishes hosted a BBQ dinner in our honour yesterday evening. Prior to that, Toronto’s Archbishop Thomas Collins celebrated Mass for the World Youth Day pilgrims and both parishes at large.

July 12, 2008

Kia Ora!

Auckland, NZ - Kia Ora is Maori for "hello" or "greetings." Maori is New Zealand (NZ)'s native tongue. At 10 a.m., pilgrims from Ottawa, Winnipeg, Sweden, and Atlanta visited "Te Waiariki" - a Maori community building constructed in 1977 which means "the waters of baptism."

MELBOURNE, Australia - Many pilgrims from across the Archdiocese of Toronto didn't anticipate the long length of time that it would take to get to Melbourne. But after nearly 21 hours spent sleeping and worrying about our backs breaking, we arrived safe and sound early yesterday morning.

AUCKLAND, NZ - Ottawa and Winnipeg pilgrims - including Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, priests, and deacons - arrived at St. Thomas More parish in Auckland, New Zealand for a welcoming breakfast at 7:30 a.m., shortly after roughly 20 hours in the air. Pilgrims were assigned to their host families and spent most of the morning with them.

From 11 a.m. to 12:24 p.m., pilgrims (yes, even the archbishop) cut bamboo sticks and planted trees. We were free to explore the city of Auckland all afternoon.

{mosimage}Pope Benedict XVI sent an e-mail to more than 30,000 people registered with the World Youth Day (WYD) official networking site, inviting them to pray for the young people of France. The Pope was to visit France Sept. 12-15.

The web site,, was designed to help WYD pilgrims stay in touch through online discussions while also providing a means to search for Catholic events worldwide, post and share photos with other users. Anyone can sign up to the web site regardless of having attended WYD in Sydney, Australia, or not.