Toronto pilgrims watch Pope's arrival

By 
  • July 17, 2008

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."

Our archdiocesan delegation had the pleasure of listening to His Grace, Archbishop Thomas Collins, who led the catechesis session for today. He continued what Cardinal McCarrick had mentioned yesterday about the Holy Spirit.
 
Archbishop Collins is a phenomenal speaker. He's filled with words of wisdom that make you think continuously and from which you never get tired. He had spoken about how we, the church, are one body joined together.
 
"This isn't the Olympic games,"Archbishop Collins said. "We are not competing to see who has the biggest flag to wave but rather how all of us, no matter where we come from, share the same ideal."
 
His talk gave me inspiration for the rest of the day. After all was said and done, the Toronto pilgrims gathered outside the auditorium for a group picture and a chant of His Grace's name.
 
"A-R-C-H-B-I-S-H-O-P C-O-L-L-I-N-S," the crowd beckoned.
 
As a group, we made our way into downtown where we had waited for His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, to drive by in his popemobile. A few of us, including myself, scoped out another place where we could view the motorcade better. After arriving half an hour behind schedule, Pope Benedict sped by, waving to the crowd with no time to spare. I cheered and shouted so much that I have practically no voice left.
 
That will be a problem as there are many days left to go!

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