The purpose of this blog-post is to bring together a selection of World Youth Day experiences, because without seeing the event through the viewpoint of many pilgrims you can’t get a true overall impression.
As I’ve done in past World Youth Days, I attempted to find pilgrims who were recording their journey as they went, and I’ve also been looking at the post-WYD reflections.
These were the best of the best:
Starting from 21 July 2023 until 12 August 2023. ‘Ploddy’ is a yellow stuffed-toy dinosaur with a set of badges running down his spine, with each badge representing a secondary college in the diocese of Broken Bay.
Starting from 21 July 2023 until 12 August 2023
Starting from 20 July 2023 until 19 Aug 2023
The Australian bishops did a good job of regular postings while they were on pilgrimage. Look for posts between 20 July 2023 and 30 Aug 2023. The following names are how you can search for them on Facebook:
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP
Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green OSPPE DD
They both went to the Holy Land prior to Lisbon and Fatima
Bishop Anthony Randazzo
He went through Northern Italy before Lisbon and Fatima
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli
He went to Rome and Assisi prior to Lisbon; and managed to get his pilgrims a private audience with Pope Francis.
Start here https://www.cavanaghart.com/blog/pilgrim-blog-1-leaving-sydney and keep going until 18 August 2023; or start here to see the whole pilgrim blog archive https://www.cavanaghart.com/wyd-2023-lisbon.html
Parramatta Diocese did an excellent video log of each day of their pilgrimage, with a different group of pilgrims talking to camera each day. They visited both Lourdes and Fatima and were honoured by special roles in the candlelight processions. Here is the starting point:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX2oKQiweUE then keep going until you have reached Day 20.
The Diocese of Corpus Christi from Texas did a very good video log as well. Persevere through this first one, because it is a little long, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mdQoNtEujc and keep going until Day 11, although some days have a part 1 and a part 2.
Fr Jonathan Meyer from All Saints Parish, Guilford, Indiana gave both a homily recap and a later recap about his WYD pilgrimage experiences.
I am grateful that a pilgrim managed to record this catechesis from Bishop Barron.
I know there has been a lot of controversy about the DJ music on the morning of 6 August, so here is a video clip for you to judge for yourself. Given the evident joy and skill of the priestly DJ and the joyful tone of the music, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Major Talks by Pope Francis at WYD Lisbon
Each of these fit onto 2 x A4 pages
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxT2vpfnA0k with two pilgrims from Canada.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB0nwFNclUg&t=26s with two Australian seminarians.
Fruits of World Youth Day
Most of us long to see immediate positive results from World Youth Day experiences. How deep the seeds of grace go depend on the preparation prior to World Youth Day. But those seeds also need to be watered by prayer; so if you were praying for the pilgrims during World Youth Day please consider continuing to cover them with prayer in the weeks and months ahead. As per the parable of ‘the sower of the seed’, the best results take the longest time to emerge. To keep you hopeful these two gems are provided: