GEOGRAPHICAL distance of more than 14,000km didn’t stop Queensland Catholics “celebrating in solidarity” with World Youth Day pilgrims last Sunday.
A crowd of 450 young people gathered at St Laurence’s College, Brisbane, last Sunday for VIVID 2013 – just a few hours before the WYD Closing Mass started across the globe in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The annual archdiocesan youth event, organised by Catholic Youth Ministry Brisbane, doubled as the local WYD celebration for those unable to travel to South America.
“International Word Youth Day gatherings come at a cost and it’s not something everybody has the capacity or resources to be able to attend,” youth ministry co-ordinator Michael Hart told the gathering in an opening address.
“That doesn’t mean we can’t be part of the world’s biggest party.”
Those attending VIVID were presented with a pilgrim “boarding pass” upon arrival and welcomed by MCs masquerading as flight attendants.
The event included an archdiocesan Mass, concelebrated by Bishop Joseph Oudeman, vicar general Monsignor Peter Meneely and Fr Augustine Obi. Deacon Neville Yun assisted.
The sacrament of Reconciliation was available after Mass, along with time for quiet reflection.
Those in attendance were also encouraged to write a prayer of thanksgiving, or to offer a prayer for past and present WYD pilgrims, which were hung on a prayer wall.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane addressed the crowd via a pre-recorded message from Brazil.
He took the opportunity to highlight the importance and relevance of this year’s WYD and VIVID theme – “Go Make Disciples”.
“At a time when we might be tempted to sit back in our own little corner, what the Lord is saying to us all, the whole Church, whether in Rio de Janerio or Brisbane or wherever, is get out there,” he said.
Guest speaker Christian Brother Damien Price extended on the theme by urging young Catholics to speak up and act on global issues such as war, refugees, asylum seekers and homelessness.
“I am deliberately trying to stir you up,” he told the crowd during a powerful and sobering talk.
“Our world has never needed you as much as it does now – fire up.
“You are the disciples … you are the messengers of hope for this world. The danger is that we go from here tonight and do nothing. If we do nothing, Christ’s hands do not reach out.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
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