Philippine-Australia-Saipan Province


World Youth Day 2008

'You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses.'

Acts 1:8


World Youth Day is the largest youth event in the world and will be held in Sydney, Australia, from Tuesday 15 to Sunday 20 July 2008.  The theme, received from Pope Benedict XVI is: 'You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses.' Acts 1:8


The WYD Cross and Icon are currently traveling to all dioceses in Australia as a means of promoting dialogue with youth and of enabling evangelization, catechesis and prayer to create a sense of anticipation around World Youth Day.


An Indigenous Message Stick is also accompanying the Cross and Icon in Australia. The Message Stick is an invitation from the Sydney Indigenous community to the Indigenous youth of Australia to come to WYD08.


The Journey of the Cross, Icon of Our Lady and Message Stick in the Archdiocese of Melbourne began on 26 April and concluded on 10 May 2008.


Many of us have walked part of the journey along side young people, and young at heart, from our different places of ministry. One of the highlights of the journey took place in Bundoora which is home to the Pastorelle Sisters.


The Cross and Icon were welcomed on Mt. Cooper, highest point in the Metro area, and  made their way to the school oval and Church in a procession led by young people from different parishes. The Message Stick was also welcomed with a special ceremony and respect was paid to the original inhabitants of this Land.


On the 29 April 2008, the parish priest of St. Damianís, Fr. Michael Kalka and parishioners were delighted to welcome the WYD Cross and Icon of Our Lady and the Message Stick. A truly historic event, the celebration was shared among twenty five other parishes, four of which have Pastorelle Sisters involved in the pastoral care of its people.



Mass was celebrated by the Auxiliary bishop of Melbourne, Tim Costelloe SDB, during which two young people spoke of their experiences in previous World Youth Days.

The individual veneration of the cross and icon, was a very moving part of the celebration, and priests were available for the sacrament of Reconciliation.


Different parish groups, reflecting the multicultural nature of our parishes, took turns in leading moments of community prayer and singing throughout the night, which concluded with midnight Mass.



Sr. Mary La Bruna sjbp