Steve has written about his World Youth Day experience for our Diocesan Magazine. Here is what he wrote:
World Youth Day was great. The food was good, accommodation excellent and the company superb. I was pleased to see so many of the clergy and religious walking the streets of Sydney in their religious garb. It is a great witness to the world and proclaims that 'God is good.' I felt proud to be Catholic.
Because of World Youth Day, I came to love Jesus more. This came about through three main events, Mass, Confession and Adoration. The Masses at our catechesis venue were excellent. They were so prayerful and reverent. Some of the songs were sung in Latin and I think this is what really created the atmosphere to celebrate the sacrifice of the Mass. Confession left me with a sense of freedom and readiness to make a new start in life. Adoration is what I think brought me close to Jesus. Just being able to sit at the feet of Jesus in silence is an experience I find hard to describe in words. Best to try it out for yourselves.
Each evening we had the choice of a multitude of talks, workshops, drama and music to choose from. One of the talks I went to see was by Jason Everett. It was on chastity and was specifically aimed at teenagers. Not only was it educational but also very entertaining. He was able to hold the attention of my teenagers for 90 minutes. His website is Pureloveclub.com. It's worth checking out for resources.
Another talk that I really enjoyed was by Christopher West. He is a world expert on 'The Theology Of The Body'. It is basically about Gods plan and purpose for sex and how our sexuality fits into our vocation in life. He spoke so clearly about the evils of contraception and how it attacks society and the family. As the use of contraceptives become more prevalent through the 60's and 70's so did divorce increase. This was actually predicted by Pope Paul IV in his 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae.
One last event I would like to mention is a play we went to see. It was about the life and death of Saint Maria Goretti. Even though there was only one actor in the play it was still very entertaining. With the use of recorded voices and a large projector screen he was able to act out the part of Alisandro, the murderer of Maria.