Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sydney '08

Having returned from my priests' course last weekend the race was on to get everything ready for a trip to Sydney. I'm taking eight young men, all of them either seminarians or men seriously considering their vocation. We've joined up once again with Fr Dominic Allain - with whom we took a very successful group to Cologne three years ago. In turn we have joined up with the diocesan group.

I left home on Tuesday afternoon at 3.00pm and we landed in Sydney at 6.00am on Thursday, having made a stop-over in Dubai. Sydney airport was pretty well in meltdown with thousands of young people waiting to clear passport control and then quarantine. We were doubly lucky: our group was spotted by an official who got us to line up separately without the need to wait with everyone else before the sniffer dog arrived. The second stroke of luck was that just after we were given the all clear and were being led out, I spotted another group from Southwark who had become detached from their leader. If I hadn't seen them they wouldn't have had a clue where to go and we would have started our trip to Sydney with a veritable disaster!

This afternoon as we got our accreditation we were treated to some spectacular 'didgereedoo' playing . We then went on to meet our host families at a parish school and were able to celebrate Mass in the local Church. Everyone is tired but by now they have been dispatched to their host families for the 'days in the diocese'. Tomorrow we have a day of social dedication - I think our group is planting trees - followed by Holy Mass in the evening and then 'Bush Dance Social Evening'.


Alan said...

Fr Stephen, I am relieved that you and my peers have arrived safely in Sydney, were marshalled seemlessly through customs and immigration, and are now hopefully having a fabulous time. That I am far too old to participate in the WYD celebrations I shall keep you all in my prayers and read the blog with a touch of envy, I mean joy. Alan B

Peter said...

Dear Fr Stephen,
I enjoy your blogsite. Thanks for conveying the joy of this great WYD.
Fr Peter Grace, CP
passionist monastery
jamaica, NY