Becoming attached to Australia

  • July 17, 2008

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.

As a group, we travelled to the Sydney Convention Centre near Darling Harbour where we attended the first of three daily catechesis sessions. Cardinal McCarrick, from the Archdiocese of Washington D.C., started the morning with a talk on the Holy Spirit.

Prior to that, I had the great fortune of going to the sacrament of reconciliation. Ever since I began my pilgrimage here, I've longed to seek God's grace and forgiveness. Something beckoned me at that particular moment to speak to a priest. Afterwards, I felt like my batteries were re-energized and that I was whole again. Leaving confession after being absolved, to me, is truly the best feeling that any person can experience.

After catechesis, the rest of the day was ours. My group and I headed over to St. Benedict's Church in downtown Sydney for a concert put on by praise and worship leader Matt Maher and his band from Canada. We then headed over to Bondi Beach (one of the most beautiful beaches in the world if I may say so) where we took in the setting sun. Furthermore, we couldn't help but indulge in a few photos. All in all, it was a fantastic day, to say the least.

This pilgrimage has been more than I had ever expected. Making new friends within my diocesan group and pilgrims from all corners of the globe has strengthened me in my faith in so many ways. One thing that I'm not looking forward to is packing up and returning home to family and friends because I'm not ready to let go of this experience just yet. Australia is so much of a home to me already.

I think there will be many tears shed come July 23.

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