Saturday, July 26, 2008

WYD Memoirs: Saturday, Sunday, Monday 19th-21st July 2008

Saturday bore a great surprise: Cardinal Zen, that pillar of orthodoxy and bulwark of the freedom of our Catholic Faith in China, deigned to attend the Solemn Mass at 9am, hearing Mass with evident prayerful attentiveness at his throne and prie-dieu, and receiving the Divine Communion in the most edifying manner.

I understand that the MC's and all were a bit flummoxed, not having practiced the rubrics for Mass coram Cardinale, but what was done was done with dignity and reverence. (I refer readers to the Juventutem report on WYD for details of the speeches and homily and whatnot.)

I served Fr Rowe's Low Mass next, and then got talking with Christoph, a German seminarian currently based in Austria. He proved to be excellent company, and joined Fr Rowe and I and others for the rest of the day. We all eventually headed into town, again failed to see the Pope (his rumoured appearance at St Mary's Cathedral didn't transpire, Fr Tattersall!), and had a good lunch with Francesca and Marguerite (and Melissa) from Adelaide, previous acquaintances of ours - their sister Emma is at the Traditional nunnery next to Le Barroux - as well as with another nice family, friends of Fr's.

In due course, we trained to North Sydney, and walked the Harbour Bridge, singing the Rosary as we went!

Time having got ahead of us, we bussed to Randwick, aka the Southern Cross precinct, for to attend the Papal Vigil - what stupendous numbers of people!

At this point, readers must refer back to my earlier posting, covering Saturday night and Sunday morning.

...To take up the tale on Sunday afternoon: I tried to get into the Cathedral to visit the sacred relics of Bl Pier Giorgio again, but time didn't permit, so I contented myself with visiting the merchandise emporium opposite to buy some mementos, clothes and presents.

I made it back to Maternal Heart, Lewisham, just in time for the collect of the Asperges, before the Missa Cantata (only Missa Cantata! I've had Solemn Mass if not Pontifical all week! LOL!). The chapel acoustic is excellent, and the chant sung superbly, much faster than I'm used to. Curiously, Fr Gresser FSSP, not otherwise present at the Mass, made three forays into the chapel: to sing the Epistle, to preach an ultra-long sermon on St Peter, Simon Magus and the Emperor Nero, and to assist with the distribution of Communion.

After Mass, having met up for the last time with many good people I know, we again dragged Christoph with us to have a very nice and rather expensive Italian meal. Good luck to him, as he heads off on a backpacking holiday around Australia: Auf Wiedersehen - Goodbye - God be with you.

I arrived back at my homestay about 11.30pm.

On Monday morning, I walked around a few blocks to St Mark's, Drummoyne, to hear a Novus Ordo Mass (strangely, all - but myself - stood for the Canon, yet all knelt after the Agnus Dei: how does that make sense?) and to say my prayers (Matins and Lauds, and Prime on the way back). The priest sensibly spoke of how WYD and the joy of unabashed public witness to our Catholic Faith should teach us all not to be embarrassed about openly living out our Christian witness.

With dear Maria, the nice widow who so kindly gave me and Daniel somewhere to stay for WYD, I watched the Holy Father's last appearances on Australian soil. As a small token and remembrance, I passed over to her a print of the WYD Icon of OurL Lady and Child, Salus Populi Romani. We prayed together before I had to depart: luckily, I got a lift to the airport.

Our flight was somewhat delayed, but was otherwise comfortable and uneventful.

Once back in Perth, George gave Fr and I a lift, and I had time to get organized and go to evening Mass with the prayers of thanksgiving for our safe return from pilgrimage.

Glory be to God for all things. Amen.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Lovely Icon.