Just a brief update to let you all know that, yes, I am still alive.
I am currently in the middle of a 6-week course on “Theology of Body” by Pope John Paul II which is taking up nearly all of my mental and physical energy and leaving myself with not much left in tank for anything.
This is in addition to my general lack of focus and purpose in the wake of World Youth Day Lisbon 2023 and finishing my 2024 Calendar.
Currently, I find myself living (read: surviving) from one ex-WYD pilgrim social event/get-together to the next, which are so far averaging about a month apart. Post-World Youth Day Blues? Perhaps.
I know that I shouldn’t complain, because before WYD I had never had any social life what is filling up my calendar now. But I am aware of how fickle sudden-social-relationships can dissipate in the blink of an eye unless they are tended to and (hopefully) cultivated into last friendships.
Please kindly keep myself and all my fellow “Theology of the Body” course participants in your prayers.
22 Oct 2023
Showcasing various photos from my 2023 WYD pilgrimage to Lisbon.
Just a brief post to say that my 2024 Calendar containing a selection of my photographs from my WYD Lisbon 2023 pilgrimage are now available to order for the new year.
— Cost for the 2024 Calendars is $30 AUD, plus postage (within Australia).
— For International postal orders we will arrange Air Mail costs appropriately, on an order by order basis.
You can place your order through the form found under the Contact page or by messaging me via Facebook, or via LinkedIn (though I am hardly ever on that, at all).
29 Sept 2023
It's slowly starting to hit me that I'm actually going abroad in 7 days.
I'm really feeling the exhaustion, as I write this, after having been out tonight at our Diocese's WYD Pilgrim Blessing Mass. It was a very taxing night mentally, as well as physically.
Thankfully, I can report that I am now in possession of both my Diocesan Pilgrim and Pilgrimage Travel Provider Kits. I know have a better idea of what I have to pack as well as how much extra space is now available thanks to the new cross-body satchel.
17 Jul 2023
Previous WYD Formation Session blogposts:
Pre-Session #1 Thoughts
WYD Travel Itinerary UPDATE
Because that’s basically the only thing that I can control.
Our 3rd World Youth Day Formation Session was held last Tuesday (20 June) in the same venue as Session #2. There wasn’t all that much new to talk about.
We had confirmation of the multiplicity of different flight paths/times we would all be taking as pilgrim small groups going into Europe and coming out again due to post-COVID-related travel booking arrangements. I've illustrated my own flight path below.
Small updates about diocesan-branded WYD merchandise and clothing. The diocese’s WYD app has been approved by Apple, but no mention of Google at all.
We had a rough explanation/run-through of how the Rise Up Catechesis session are supposed to run; our diocese will be the Animating Host Team for the English-speaking sessions for a 3rd WYD. Think conversation ice-breakers and running around with wireless microphones to multiple other English-speaking pilgrims from across the world inside as-yet-to-be-determined venues.
My rather lacklustre reporting of this is because I’ve only in the last 24hrs found out that I will be the only one from my small group flying out on the first of the 3 flights from Rome to Lisbon on 31 July. I will of course be travelling with other pilgrims from the same bus group; but before this oblique gut-punch, I was already processing that I was being flown into Lisbon by Ryanair. An airline that any aware passenger needs no introduction to.
And I am still recovering from whatever laid my low after my cross-border travels from almost 3 weeks ago. Other than that, I am at least slightly closer to starting a picture that’s been waiting since before my afore-mentioned sojourn.
Until next time.
28 Jun 2023
The reason that there hasn’t been much news from me as late is because I have been sick at home for the best part of a week after having done a crazy 5-and-a-half-day round journey with my father from Sydney to Melbourne, to Adelaide, and back to Sydney again, all by rail.
I hope to be in a fit state to attend the 3rd WYD Formation Session this coming Tuesday (20 June), God willing.
Until then, I have put together this collection of relevant YouTube Travel Videos for my fellow diocesan pilgrims and for anyone else planning on travelling to Italy or Portugal.
I do admit that most of these videos are from Mark Wolters and his Wolters World YouTube channel. This is because he and his family are inveterate travellers with a wealth of lived experience and, in comparison to other travel advice channels, he aims to be helpful rather than fear-mongering (case in point: the Scam City tv series, widely available on YouTube).
I would highly recommend checking out Wolters World for further travel advice that I can't share due to how long this post is already getting 😉
~21 May 2023
Our second Diocesan WYD Formation Session was held in Sydney last night (16 May 2023) and it came preloaded with post-WYD Event promotions, zero Pilgrimage Itinerary updates, a do-it-yourself Spicks and Specks round, and a side order of cringe through the conscription of ELO's Mr Blue Sky. The less said about that particular episode, the better.
Apart from finally getting to see what the Diocesan and Travel Provider merchandise (only visual mock-ups, nothing physical), the main highlight of the night was the reflection from Fr Stephen Wayoyi AJ (Apostles of Jesus Missionaries) on The Road to Emmaus, Gospel of Luke 24:13-35.
He told us that we are all, on this pilgrimage, invited to an important encounter with Jesus, just as the disciples encountered Him on their way to Emmaus. Their sorrow from the crucifixion was turned into joy by meeting Jesus on the way. So to are we called to bring our own daily sorrows, pains and discouragements with us on this pilgrimage; and to be open to God. To give him all that is weighing us down, that He may also turn it into joy. Joy in Him.
Remember: the word became flesh and dwelt among us. Be not afraid! We don't have to give up. God is with us. We are not here [in this hall, on this pilgrimage] by mistake. He has chosen us. He is asking us to journey with him. He wants to be a companion with us. To remind us always, that God is real.
Then Fr Stephen finished by asking us to say to the person next to us, "We are together again."
And he concluded the reflection by leading us together in song:
Something good is going to happen.
~17 May 2023
Not all, but most of Fr Stephen Wayoyi's rendition of "We Are Together Again" from last night's 2nd World Youth Day Formation session (16 May 2023).
~17 May 2023
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