Reaching out to Catholic/Christians Individuals/Families

WYD 2011 held in Madrid, Spain – 16th – 21 August.

I am just recording a few details from 16th to 19th morning of August- (the rest will be recorded the next day).

I travelled to Madrid for the WYD 2011.  This trip was a long distance trip and I was abit nervous to travel alone but I had no choice.  It would have been much more fun and easier if I travelled  with a group  or even if I had travelled as a Group Leader.   Anyway, I did have nice experiences travelling alone.  I think My Guardian Angel was favouring me.  I did have a very comfortable flight to Madrid – It was a 23 hour flight with a two hour delay in Rome.  I guess because I travelled alone I was taken good care of on the flight.  The hostess was very caring and even provided me with a window seat.  Thank God that he gave me the window seat.  I curled up and had a sleep for a while and then I did some important letter writing.  I had been working long hours at work and hence I had to catch up with my letter writing on the aircraft.  I did transit at Malaysia as I travelled Malaysian Airlines.  I guess because I was a lady and was travelling alone, the airline took good care of me and I arrived at Madrid refreshed.

I,  along with some pilgrims stayed at the church and there were others staying in the school.  All of us were from all parts of the world.  We were the ones who registered in Madrid online.    It was an exciting week.  Mass was celebrated everyday at the parish where we were staying.  We did have catechesis in our parish on 17 to 19th August.  A Cardinal and two bishops celebrated Mass and gave us Catechesis as well.  On 16th August we had an Australian Gathering and program, I think from 12noon to 2pm.  I arrived there abit late . I was in time for Cardinal George Pell’s catechesis.  Archbishop Denis Hart was present.  Bishop Christopher Prowse gave a talk.  Other bishops of Australia were also present but I did not meet them.  I met Archbishop Mark Coleridge who was also present there.  Fr Robert Galea and Gary Pinto were in a band and there was very good singing.  All the youth were swaying and dancing to the music and the Australian flags were flying high.  It was a proud afternoon with  3000 Australians attending.  This was held in the Love and Life Centre.   I met some of my priest friends and seminarian friends that afternoon.

At 8pm on the 16th, the Opening Mass was celebrated by the Bishop of Madrid.   It was quite a hot day and it was very crowded.  I along with other friends sat on the side of the road and followed Mass on the big screen. After Mass, we went to a restauant nearby and did have a very delicious dinner.  I must state here that the food provided was always very good and delicious.

The rest of the week was quite eventful.  Cardinal George Pell celebrated Mass at the Love and Life Centre at 12noon on 17th August which I attended. I got to shake his hand after Mass.  That evening Fr Robert Galea was singing on the other side of Madrid.  I arrived there late because I had lost my wallet and I spent quite some time trying to find it to no avail. I would like to mention here that I did find my wallet the next day at the Pharmacy near the Love and Life Centre and I thanked God with all my heart for finding it. I was so stressed out and a young Spanish girl about 15 years of age and who spoke very good English who helped me make a few calls which helped me find my wallet. I did not get to see him perform but there was an Indian band that was singing and playing good music which we all danced to.  They had come from India.  I had such a good time dancing and singing and again the dinner that I had was delicious. We were served sandwiches and I enjoyed the taste of these sandwiches.  These were the best sandwiches that I had tasted in a long time.

Pope Benedict arrived on the 18th and then he met the youth at Puerta de Alcala.  I made my way to this place and watched the Pope on the big screen.  The youth were so excited and they did chant Benedicto! Benedicto!  They were so excited that they were meeting the Vicar of Christ.  The metro, buses and trains were packed with pilgrims.  It was such a wonderful sight and there was so much of fun and energy – in fact it was electrifying.  The youth carried with them various musical instruments like guitars, drums etc.  They carried flags of their countries including the Vatican Flag.   These are wonderful memories and I do not think I would ever forget them.  They would always be fresh in my mind and heart and I would relate these stories to friends and people that I meet to encourage them to travel to the next WYD 2013 which is being held at Rio, Brazil.  I arrived late at the church that I was staying at that night and they were  waiting for me.  My friend Deacon Javier told me that if I wanted to see the Pope in person I could go to the Cathedral at Madrid for the Pope was celebrating Mass there on 19th morning. 

I went to the Cathedral on the 19th and there were many people standing outside the Cathedral following Mass because the speakers were on and the public outside could follow Mass.  Holy Communion was distributed to all those who were following Mass outside the Cathedral.  I lined up along the road of the Cathedral to watch the Pope as he passed us on his way to another appointment at the Seminary.  He was going to meet the Seminarians.

I did make a banner to greet Pope Benedict XVI.  After Mass, Pope Benedict passed by in his Pope mobile. I was so excited that I saw him in person.  I was very happy.  I waited and then I did see Cardinal George Pell come out of the Cathedral.  I was so happy that he agreed to take a photograph with me.

I will try to post some WYD photos the next day.


September 29, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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