World Youth Day week gave SCS pilgrims the chance to explore their faith through catechesis on day two alongside pilgrims from New Zealand, England, America, Canada, and South Africa.
The religious instruction, led by Bishops from around the world, included personal stories that demonstrated how others had developed a closer relationship with God and spoke of how to grow and sustain faith.
Pennsylvanian bishop Edward Burns was a guest speaker at the catechesis before delivering the homily at an 11am Mass.
He encouraged pilgrims to focus on the example of Jesus and embrace what they are called to do without fear.
“We do have our own ideas of what we want to do with our lives, so it’s hard to put our lives and will into Gods hands and to listen to him,” he said.
“We are blessed to have the community of saints to guide us along the journey. It’s so easy to blend into the crowds these days, but it’s important to speak of Jesus – the way the truth and the life.
“We never want to fail to recognise the need of others. Let us never be paralysed in serving our brothers and sisters, for it is in that we find the Lord.”
This morning helped me to have a much deeper understanding of my faith.
A Vocations Fair had spaces for reconciliation, and gave pilgrims the opportunity to pray at the World Youth Day cross. The event aims to show young pilgrims different paths available to them to achieve their vocation in the Church.
Religious congregations, publishing houses, missionary organizations, and Catholic schools and universities had stalls for pilgrims to engage with their charism and work.
Late in the afternoon, Bus 5 students prayed two decades of the Rosary with their chaplain Fr Adam, while they walked from the vocations fair back to the hotel. Bus 2 pilgrims spoke about the day with their chaplain. They also spoke to a local boy, Ricardo, who prayed over them.
At the Youth festival that evening, pilgrims enjoyed praise and worship music from around the world.
Catechesis: student views
“Everyone was listening very attentively and it was great to see everyone connecting. It was very pleasing to see how everyone could understand the Bishop’s message and how we are all connected by our one faith.” – Joshua Chan, Year 11, Marist College Eastwood
“My first catechesis was an eye-opener. It showed how all the Catholics around the world believe in the same thing and that we’re not alone.”– Raphael Lee, Year 12, Marist College Eastwood
“This morning helped me to have a much deeper understanding of my faith. I really enjoyed how the Bishop explained everything in detail. He spoke from the scripture but he also added a bit of humour to it, which made it more entertaining.” – Emmanuel Garley, Year 12, Holy Spirit Catholic College Lakemba
“I’ve really enjoyed the masses and the culture. It’s been one of the most amazing experiences of my life so far.” – Natalya Saliba, Year 11, Trinity Catholic College Auburn
“I got to see how universal the Church is and to see everybody celebrating Mass in the same way. Even though we might speak words differently, we are all one.” – Maggie Issa, Year 12, Holy Spirit Catholic College Lakemba