College Chaplain Reflection – July 28, 2016

July 27, 2016

By the time you read this Crest I’ll be in Poland. Pope Francis has called the young Catholics of the world to meet him in Krakow, Poland, for the 31st World Youth Day. I’ll be accompanying the roughly 350 pilgrims from across Victoria as one of the priest chaplains.

WYD is an opportunity for young Catholics to join together with the Pope, Christ’s Vicar on earth, to give witness to their faith in Christ and to experience in a profound sense the unity of Christians from across the world in the Body of Christ, the Church. The week culminates in a rather large outdoor mass (by large I mean there should be at least 3 million faithful in attendance). Such a gathering is a very concrete sign that our youth are not alone in their faith. It is something they share with millions across the world.

The particular theme of this WYD is taken from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, -Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy- (Matt 5:7). In a message to those attending, Pope Francis has expressed his hope that the bonds of love and communion that will be so visible in the gathering will be for the world a sign of the unifying and transforming power of Christ. -I am very anxious to meet you and to offer the world a new sign of harmony, a mosaic of different faces, from many races, languages, peoples and cultures, but all united in the name of Jesus, who is the Face of Mercy.-

And as well as a powerful experience of the unity of our faith, it is also a time of great joy. In other words, the pilgrims have a lot of fun. I hope I can keep up with them. The College community will remain in my prayers.