Starting WYD Week @ Wenty

olmc_08 014Sunday saw the opening to the World Youth Day week of celebrations here in Wentworthville.  The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel falls this week, and as is typical, the parish celebrated with Masses on Sunday.  This year’s celebrations were particularly heightened at the 9:00 a.m. Mass, where the parish blessed those young people participating as pilgrims in WYD.

About 12 hours later, our parish pilgrims were to be joined in Wentworthville by our first international guests.  The pilgrim group from St. Severin parish in Paris were collected from a busy and lively International Airport Terminal.  The atmosphere was quite unique as music and singing filled the arrivals area, and people from around the world made their way through.

The very tired St. Severin pilgrims made their way back safely in parishioners’ cars to Wentworthville where they met their HomeStay hosts for the week.  They very much seem to be looking forward to the week ahead.

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July 14, 2008 at 12:20 pm Leave a comment

The City’s Gearing Up for WYD

11072008Things are definitely starting to gear themselves towards World Youth Day in the city.  I made a quick trip into town to see how things are going.

I decided to visit St. Mary’s Cathedral where I knew the floor had been replaced this year and a new altar will be consecrated by Pope Benedict next week.  It just happened that I arrived five mintues before the official unveiling of the painting of Our Lady of the Southern Cross that is now hanging in the Cathedral.11072008(001)

I happened to see a group of three people outside the Queen Victoria Building wearing WYD hats that they must have bought at the merchandise store in Hyde Park.  I dropped in there myself to pick up something to wear during the WYD catechesis we’re hosting at Wenty.  Sites around the city are very much in the process of being ready for the week’s events.

Sunday will mark what is essentially our parish’s start to the WYD week.  Our celebration of the Parish Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel will include a blessing of our parish’s own pilgrims during the 9:00 a.m. Mass.  Later that night, our first pilgrims will be arriving from St. Severin Parish in Paris.

July 12, 2008 at 5:18 am Leave a comment

Catechising Bishops

News has come this week from the WYD Office advising us of the bishops that will be leading catechesis next week.  This will involve a talk by them, questions and answers with the pilgrims, and Mass where they will be the principal celebrant.

The bishops we’ll have the priviledge of hosting next week are:

  • Wednesday: Bishop Paul Hendricks (Auxillary Bishop of Southwark, England)
  • Thursday: Bishop Barry Jones (Bishop of Christchurch, New Zealand)
  • Friday: Bishop Gabino Zavala (Auxillary Bishop of Los Angeles, USA)

No doubt our own Fr. Bernard will be looking forward to Thursday, given that he is a native of Christchurch!

July 10, 2008 at 10:38 am Leave a comment

Things Keep Moving

WYD backpack
WYD backpack

This is a World Youth Day Pilgrim backpack.  It’s one of a number of things that have been delivered to the parish, ready for the pilgrims.

It’s another signal that WYD is well on its way, that it’s all very much real.
Speaking of pilgrims, some of our groups staying in the parish are now getting in touch with us.  We’ve heard from Westlake Area Youth Group (Ohio, USA), as well as the pilgrims from St. Severin Parish (Paris, France).  Our animating team leading catechesis next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday has also been in email contact with us.  Of course, our East Timorese pilgrims connected with the Carmelites are already in Australia, spending time in the Carmelite communities in Melbourne and Brisbane before arriving here next week.
Tonight our HomeStay volunteers are meeting to learn of the final arrangements and placement of pilgrims.  The volunteers are being contacted so that they’re aware of their roles next week, and the church gets a clean up on Saturday.  All in all, things are moving nicely (and very quickly).

July 10, 2008 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

Welcome to the WYD@WENTY Blog

Welcome to the first post of what will hopefully be a series for this blog.

In a sense, this blog will have a limited timespan.  The idea is to share with everyone out there some of the experiences of our community of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Wentworthville during World Youth Day 2008.  As such, once the pilgrims pack up and return home, and the WYD wrap up, there will be less to write about.  What I hope though, is that, despite a lack of perpetual posting, this blog will remain out there in the blogosphere to show how the unique event that is WYD touched and changed our lives.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish is in Wentworthville.  Wenty (as the locals call it) is pretty close to being in the middle of Sydney, just a little further west from the suburb of Parramatta (Sydney’s 2nd largest Central Business District, and seat of our diocese).  We are home to the only community of Carmelite Friars in the state of New South Wales.

We have a pretty big task ahead of us for WYD week, which includes:

  • Accomodating pilgrims in our parish primary school and parishioners’ homes
  • Hosting three days of catechesis
  • Being a meeting place for those belonging to, and associated with, the Carmelite Family who are visiting Sydney for WYD.

Take a look around here to see what’s going on, including our parish’s and order’s patronal feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (16 July).  We hope we can bring you more news and stories over the next fortnight.

If you’re a pilgrim staying at Wenty next week, we’re looking forward to meeting you.  Leave us a comment – we’ll be happy to link to your group or parish’s website if you’d like – we already found one through a quick Google search.

Robert (Parish Liturgy Coordinator)

July 7, 2008 at 12:28 pm Leave a comment


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