Youth Speak News

For Friday, July 18

SYDNEY, Australia - Ottawa pilgrim Melissa Delaney shared her personal testimony with us. She talked about how she would run away when she felt called by God. She had everything figured out for herself and she didn't want to give her life over to God. She wanted control and filled the void with relationships, drugs and alcohol and quickly became addicted.

Propose, don't impose

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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.

Toronto pilgrims watch Pope's arrival

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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."

Becoming attached to Australia

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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.

WYD officially begins

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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.

Ottawa and Winnipeg pilgrims fly to Melbourne and bus to Sydney

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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.

Getting to know our Australian hosts

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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.

Kia Ora!

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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."

Toronto Pilgrims arrive down under

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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.

Canadians visit Kiwis

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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.

Taking youth ministry to new heights

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The new lay director of the Office of Catholic Youth said he plans to take the archdiocese of Toronto to a new level when it comes to serving teens and young adults.