Sunday, 4 September 2011

Day Ten

On the way onto the coach to go to catechesis, I asked Andrew if he was having a good time and he told me that he and Peter saw the Pope yesterday, just near the hotel! Was rather jealous of them seeing him realtively up close.

We made our way to the love and life centre again and today we found that the Sisters of Life were not there today because they were at a Mass with the Pope. Instead we had a married couple, called the McCarthy's. They seemed lovely and were excited to be there with us, sadly just not quite as charismatic as Sr Bethany Madonna.

This was made up for by Archbishop Dolan from New York, who had charisma in abundance. He was awesome, extremely funny, and so enjoyable to listen to. It was by far the best catechesis we had because he put his personality into it. At one point he caught himself on the big screen and exclaimed, mid sentance, that he needed to go on a diet! The way he said it was hysterical. He talked to us about how we are missionaries. It was very captivating.

In between catechesis and Mass, as the stage crew were setting up, this German guy managed to somehow get onstage and aquire a microphone. He said 'Praying with the Pope in the day, and sex, drugs, and rock and roll by night. Shame onyou!' The mic was then ripped from his hand and he was escorted out. To begin with in response the crowd booed and then we began chanting the name of Jesus. I told Fr Phil about it after and he said that it was a good challenge.

We had Mass, and the praise band that was there earlier were doing the music today due to the choir being out at Mass. It was quite a nice change. Archbishop Dolan told us that there were 350 priests, 50 bishops and 10 deacons celebrating this Mass with us today. He spoke about St Peter, and St Paul's zeal for the faith. Our final song was fun to sing and the chorus went: 'We'll shout it out loud from the rooftop, we won't be quiet, we've fallen for you hard and we can't stop, we won't deny it. No, no, no (and the no's went on for a while with everyone punching the air with every one).'

After Mass we got on the metro and went to find food near to the hotel. Some of us went to the buffet place across from the supermarket. It was really good especially not having to eat chips! We went to the supermarket and Laura and I got a newspaper each, headed back to the hotel and got ready to meet for evening prayer at 5:30pm.

When we met up it turned out that the other groups hadn't made it back to the hotel area for food, but had been wandering the streets of Madrid. They were not happy bunnies.

Evening prayer was lovely. It was really nice to spend that time altogether in prayer, just our Diocese. I think it was a great way to begin our evening together. After prayer we were going to make our way to a park to watch the Stations of the Cross on a big screen. But then Fr Phil thought it might be better for us to go back to the love and life centre, and after they would be having Eucharistic Healing.

So we got on the metro and managed to get there just in time, and sat in the well of the stadium, where the priests would sit for Mass. We then got the live transmission through. It wasn't what I expected because I thought the paseos would be moving, but instead the WYD cross was taken to each one. This was quite beautiful though, to see the youth of the world take the cross to see the journey of the cross 2000 years ago. It was amazing, and the statues were so lifelike I was fooled by the first one thinking that they were people. We saw all the stations but the live feed cut before we had the chance to see the final one for Mary.

We then were meant to have lectio divina, but the people that were running it talked all the way through it, and had us singing too. It didn't work. They also wanted us to use silly putty but that seemed useless too, all you had to do was play with it.

We then were led into adoration, I'm pretty sure that it was Fr Emmanuel from Youth 2000 that did the introduction. We listened to the story of the haemorraging woman and then the Blessed Sacrament was brought in. A bishop then talked to us about what was going to happen and how important adoration is.

After a short period of adoration, the Blessed Sacrament was processed around all of the well of the stadium. It was beautiful and when they brought Jesus down the aisle nearest to me, I didn't want him to pass by, but stay near to me.

I left there with a real sense of peace and then we headed to the train station. We met some people down there from Oregon and I swapped a badge for a little angel tile. Then I swapped a peg for a badge from Malaysia on the train. And once we were back to the hotel it was time for bed, after a bit of packing.

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