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Itinerary at bottom of page

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Highlights Photo Slideshow

Hi all,
Below is a slideshow of Photo Highlights from our Pilgrimage. It can also be found on YouTube by searching for "WYD 2011 highlights slideshow"

Barcelona Day 2 and Return to the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit

Long title :)
OK, our last day was pretty big. We went to Montserrat and Manressa, both places strongly connected with St Ignatius of Loyola. Our first stop in the morning was the massive mountain of Montserrat, the name coming from (Mont - Mountain) and (Serrat - Cut). The mountain itself is huge, and dominates the skyline for a long way. It has a beautiful monastery and basilica containing the miraculous statue known as "The Black Madonna", and is also home to the famed Montserrat Boys Choir. We were privileged to be there for one of their afternoon performances. We were there for about 5 hours, exploring the many things it has on offer.
We then went back down the mountain to Manresa, where St Ignatius stayed for 11 months in a cave, and wrote his spiritual exercises. We visited the cave where he stayed during this time, and visited the nearby church.
We then headed back to the city. 6 of us decided to go on a cruise we had seen advertised the night before. It was a 1 1/2 hour boat ride around on the Mediterranean, and seemed too good an opportunity to miss. We all enjoyed it thoroughly.
By now, most of you would know that we have returned to Australia. Our flight back was uneventful (as far as I know) and we landed safely in Brisbane, to be met by respective parents and/or Cass, who took those who were not going straight home to the Vinnies Brisbane Office, to sleep out there. The next day we had a de-brief session, and a special morning tea with some members of state and national council.
Thus endeth this chronicle of events.
Well not really, we've only just begun.......

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

More on Soccer, and Barcelona Day 1

I make a lot of promises, don't I. I'll now tell you about the soccer game I mentioned in the last post.
Harvest Pilgrimages has just announced its partnership with a new pilgrimage group called Inroads. To celebrate the launch of the new program, the new partners gave free tickets to the entire Harvest contingent from Australia to go and see the friendly match between ex-professional players from Spain, vs ex-professional players from the rest of the world. It was a special game for the close of WYD, and those who went thoroughly enjoyed it. The World won 2-1, even though Spain played better overall.
OK, now on to Barcelona. Our flight here was very short for us, only 65 minutes. We were met and taken by coach tour hotel, and we had lunch. After lunch, we had a tour of the city, visiting places like the basilica of Sagrada Familia and the Cathederal. We then had dinner and a bit of free time.
Today we go to Monseratt and Manressa, which you can Google.
God bless,

Monday, 22 August 2011

A Walk, a Storm and a Soccer Game

This is that post I promised:
Well, lets start at the beginng, with the pilgrimage walk. I can only relate my experience, as our group was split into a few smaller groups. Paul, Moses and I walked the whole way, about 10 to 12 kms, while the remainder of the group took public transport most of the way. The walk was reasonable, not to hot, only about 37 - 39 degrees. We split up into even smaller groups, and eventually Paul, David (my brother) and I ended up in a group. We found a gate, and waited. We arrived at the gate at about 6 pm, and they did not let us in until 9:30, half way through the vigil. As we got through the gate, a massive storm started. We struggled to stay upright against the wind, but eventually, after an hour or so we arrived at our designated area. The storm had mostly cleared, and we set up camp. Most of the Vinnies group left to go back to the united, as it was too much for them. By the morning, all that were left were Kathleen, Tyrone, Adriana, Alex, Paul and I, along with others from the QLD groups. We managed to sleep for a few hours, even if someone did get attacked by ants (Alex :-) Anyway, we got up in the morning, and got ready for mass. Those who went home had mass with Bishop Joe and Fr. Jason, then watched the mass on the internet. We who stayed got the Papa drive right past some of us in his Papamovil. The mass was typical of a Papal mass, and we found out we were not in a good place for the end of Mass when the Holy Father announced that the next WYD will be in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, and the Brasilians ALL around us erupted into cheers. Anyway, after mass we walked a number of kilometers, and eventually got back to the united. We all went straight to the pool, and soaked there for ages. After that some of us went to the soccer, and as I am running out of time, let it suffice to say, we won.
More later,

Some Photos (Finally!!!)

Finally, I have access to a computer at the airport, so I can upload some photos. Here they are:

Outside Mass during FamVin

The WYD Backpack

Dora (The flag is added, everything else is natural)

At the Soccer

On the pilgrimage walk

Mass at the Love and Life centre

More info coming. I have a post typed on my phone, but it has not synced :-(
Off to Barcelona now (these things we have to do....)

Saturday, 20 August 2011

WYD so far

Hola! Sorry for the lack of content but eventhough we have free Wifi here, our days have usually started at about 6 am an finishing after midnight. Right now it is about 1 am so bear with me.
Australian gathering. I was the Queensland representative for the veneration of the WYD cross and icon, which was an amazing experience. The gathering itself was incredible. It was hosted at this massive sports stadium, capable of holding 15,000 people. There were about 4,000 Aussies there. The opening mass was a bit of a let down as there were too many people for us to even get close. Most of us left a bit early to go to this concert at the English speaking hub, the place we had the Australian gathering.
Chatecesis. After mass we went to the English hub, known as the Love and Life centre, to listen to Curtis Martin and some other speakers.
Chatecesis. Mass after was amazing in the LaL centre, with a choir, string quartet and organ doing plainchant for mass with the Bishop. We listened to a bit of a panel on Theology of the Body with Jason Everett. We then left for the Papal arrival. We got a reasonable spot, but had to wait 4 hours in the sun to get it.
Finally, today. We split up for Chatecesis, and mostly stayed separate for the whole day. Paul and I (Liam) went to some panels on media in the Church today, then looked at the vocations expo in Retiro park. We headed back to the LaL centre to watch the Way of the Cross from there.

Ok, that is a very brief overview of WYD so far. We go on the pilgrimage walk tomorrow.
Good morning :-)

Monday, 15 August 2011

Marqués de la Ensenada

Wow! What an amazing time we have had these last couple of days! Famvin was fantastic, and has left us feeling like we have already had a mini WYD. We have just arrived at our new accomidation at the college of Marqués de la Ensenada. The rooms are realty nice (Mum :-) and there is free Wifi. We have collected our WYD backpacks and travel passes. We hope to return to Famvin this evening for the closing festivities.