With all the activities that surrounded the last few days of our time in Sydney, we've been a little lax in getting things posted on the blog. Like the folks in Mississippi, we're back safely as well, and here's the rundown of our week (also in 200 words or less).
Saturday morning: Mass with all the U.S. pilgrims said by Cardinal George
Saturday afternoon: pilgrimage walk to Randwick Racecourse (about 3 miles)
Saturday evening: Candlelight Evening Vigil with Pope Benedict. Imagine 350,000 candles in an enormous field. Very cool. Check out what the Pope had to say.
Saturday night: slept outside at Randwick (and I use the term "sleep" very loosely)
Sunday morning: The Pope said Mass for 400,000 and we were about as close to him as we could get without wearing a bishop's hat. He gave a great homily (although a bit long for the sleep deprived).
Mass concluded World Youth Day and we spent the rest of the week sightseeing in the Blue Mountains.
Mike Hayes spent WYD recording video of our trip. Check out the videos and his reflections at bustedhalo.com and keep an ear out for a podcast live from Sydney.
At Charis, we conclude our retreats by asking people to share a grace that they received during the weekend. Looking back at this trip, I can name lots of graces that I experienced (which I will spare you from reading here), but the biggest one was the strength, diversity and blessing of the community I was there with. Thank you Mike, Melissa, Lexy, Briana, Lori, Chrissy, Amina, Zulma, Jessica and Ana for sharing this experience with me.