• Steph Unger

The Day That Lasts For A Week

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

On January 15, an enthusiastic group of young representatives from Brisbane, Cairns and Rockhampton Catholic Education, will be off on pilgrimage to LA and Panama to experience World Youth Day. This blog will provide the space to share stories, experiences, learnings, challenges and joys so that you, our pilgrim companions, can come on the journey with us.

This "day" actually lasts for the best part of a week, as young Catholics from all across the world gather together, encountering Christ through a unique and vibrant expression of faith by the global church. Pope Francis, Bishops, Clergy and Religious accompany the millions of pilgrims by sharing stories, unpacking church teaching, celebrating powerful liturgies and by simply being joy-filled witnesses of a life lived for God.

For the young teachers, APsRE, Education Officers, Campus Ministers and Guidance Counsellors, this pilgrimage means way more than just a trip to Panama - the country affectionately called the "Bridge to the Americas". It's also far more significant than just participating in the extraordinary, hard to describe, epic phenomena that is World Youth Day. Rather, it's a lived response to Gods call for us, in our lives, at this time.

Each call is different to each pilgrim, it always is. Whether we have been to World Youth Day before or not, the reason for packing our bags over the Christmas break will find root in our own individual life story, in who we are right now and who we want to be when we return. Some of us may be drawn to experiencing WYD through the lens of Laudato Si (Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment) and in light of the breath taking biodiversity backdrop that can only be experienced in Panama. For others, it may be an opportunity to connect with, and be inspired by, Mary and her courageous "Yes" to God. To others still, this pilgrimage might provide the first opportunity to encounter Jesus in a real and tangible way, opening the door to a deeper more personal relationship with Christ.

And so, pilgrim companions, as these last few weeks go by quickly amidst the hustle and bustle of the post-Christmas season, consider taking a moment to say a New Year prayer for us. Perhaps you could pray that we may find the peace and quiet needed to prepare our hearts for renewal and transformation. Pray that we may be discerning packers, intentionally leaving behind all that might weigh us down unnecessarily or prove too heavy a burden to carry. Maybe you might consider also praying for all of our families and school communities, who, just like you, will be journeying with us back in Australia.

Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Help of Christians. Pray for us.

St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop, friend of the young. Pray for us.

Brisbane Archdiocesan World Youth Day Commissioning

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