Fr Aldrin, chaplain of the white bus, with our direct-to-Portugal pilgrims, joined our location for the Welcome Mass.
We had a reasonably good position because an advance team had gone ahead and picked out a location for the Broken Bay pilgrims to occupy.
Sydney’s Catholic Weekly published a column by Monica Doumit on 3 Aug 2023, with her reflections on the long-term fruit of her own World Youth Day experiences. In it she writes “I am suffering from some serious fear-of-missing-out right now….but I really don’t really want to be dragging my luggage in high summer heat, and that Masses with a congregation of millions of young people present are not the most conducive to my prayer life, but there is just something so wonderful about WYD that makes me want to be part of it.’
I do agree with Monica Doumit’s experience of most, if not all, WYD liturgies not being places for deep prayer. The audio where we were for this Mass wasn’t wonderful, and thankfully it was improved just as the Mass began. Sadly all I got were small moments of participation at the Welcome Mass. Everything else is the crush of people, the heat, noise of music, and trying not to lose the group when walking to Holy Communion.
What I remember most is the Gloria being sung very well.
The archbishop of the WYD location always presides at the Welcome Mass. On screen here is the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, Archbishop Manuel Clemente, also known as Manuel III because he’s the third Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon with that name. Since he turned age 75 about a fortnight before WYD began, in some ways this is the big finale to his active priesthood.
WYD Catechesis – Rise Up #1: 'Integral Ecology'.
The open-air location is Parque Urbano da Quinta da Granja. It is a pleasant enough place, and one of the biggest places for English Language catechesis, hosting some 10k pilgrims. The catechesis sessions are known at this WYD as ‘Rise-Up’. That’s a play of words on the theme for this WYD based on Luke 1:39 ‘Mary rose and went with haste’. However after having had all the events of yesterday under the hot sun, and getting sunburnt arms, an undercover location would have been more welcome.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley o.f.m. from Boston, USA, was our catechist for the morning. Apparently he’s been to something like 11 World Youth Days. Most of the pilgrims here are from the USA, although there are some Italian, Scottish and Mexican flags to be seen. It was rather difficult to keep track of what the Cardinal was saying, so much so, that some pilgrims gave up and quietly said the Rosary instead. Using loudspeakers instead of using a radio broadcast didn’t help.
The topic for this morning was 'Ecology'. But I only caught snippets of it. I know that it started with his grandfather buying a large black and white TV, and a TV show called The Millionaire (USA). I wanted to pay attention, but it was a struggle to focus. What I did glean was this:
From the end of the Marriage Ceremony in Spanish: ‘I am giving you a companion, not a slave. Love her as Christ loves the Church.’
‘We become so fascinated by the gift that we forget the giver (God).’
Vincent Cavanagh #bbwyd
#wydlisbon #wyd2023 #lisboa2023
3 Aug 2023, 8.21am Portugal | 3 Aug 2023, 5.21pm Sydney
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