One year ago

It was World Youth Day in Australia.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. IS says:

    Er nope… it was 11 months ago

  2. thymos says:

    Yes, but they’re in a different hemisphere, and their toilets flush backwards, and their seasons are funny, so . . . maybe it was twelve months ago.

  3. Aspen says:

    Blessed be God!

  4. RichR says:

    I’ve had my reservations about WYD ever since reading this article:

    Until I see something that is more Catholic than secular, I would not send my children to this event, except maybe with the Juventutem movement.

  5. Aspen says:

    It seems like the Church in Australia is working to successfully cultivate the energy born from those days even now.

  6. Ann says:

    RichR – How sad that some people will never be happy until they find something to complain about – almost as if they were deliberately looking for something sleazy so they can retire to their caves and mutter “I told you so”. I know young Catholics who found WYD a wonderful inspiration which strengthened them in their faith – seeing so many thousands of perfectly normal young people who like normal young people things, some of which we oldies can’t even try to understand, but who were committed to the Church and came from all over the world to see the Pope, many at great personal expense. That in itself is tremendous cause for rejoicing.

  7. WYD was the catalyst for me to return to the church after many years in the wilderness, I’m Australian but didn’t attend WYD but something compelled me to watch the entire thing on television. I saw that the church was not dying and was very much alive and before I knew it I was attending church regularly. Yes there are some silliness that occurs at WYDs but if it allows young people to become heavily involved in their faith then I think we can ignore it for the time being and just attempt to be good Catholic role models ourselves.

    Since WYD I have become heavily involved in my diocesan youth group, currently organizing a conference/retreat for the diocese youth at which I am fighting for at least one TLM to be celebrated (against some pressure from people who think it won’t be liked). Next year we begin organizing the trip to MADWYD in 2011. So I thank God every day for the motivation WYD provided in me this last year.

    Ah and thanks to Fr Z for his work on promoting true Catholic belief, liturgical orthodoxy and the TLM.

  8. David Andrew says:


    (With apologies to Charles Shultz) . . .

    Of all the RichR’s in the world, you’re the RichR-iest . . .

    There was plenty to rejoice about with respect to last year’s WYD, not the least of which were the incredible messages delivered by the Holy Father throughout the event. Heck, I was 44 at the time, and even I felt like a kid again!

    So, RichR, just as Charlie Brown is the only person Linus knew who could take a perfectly good holiday and turn it into a problem (Christmas), ISTM you’re the only person I know (at least on this blog) who can take an extremely moving and watershed moment in the life of the present-day Church and turn it into a problem.


  9. Lyle says:

    I’m not a youth – I took some of my children. The liturgy was a bit of a curate’s egg(!) but there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence of spiritual benefits. As to the Remnant article, I think being confronted by the sad hedonist proponents of condoms and homosexuality in these circumstances (being surrounded by thousands of fellow-Catholics visibly scorning this rather pathetic proselytising) strengthened the faith of those present rather than otherwise. I’m only surprised only one pilgrim actually hit one of the condom-distributors.

  10. Gareth says:

    Like Lyle, I too took a teenage youngster to WYD2008. There were two benefits. Firstly, it gave weight to the argument that Latin has a place in the Sacred Liturgy. At every turn there was exposition and benediction; Pater Nosters outnumbered Our Fathers at the big events. (Liturgical East got a brief papal showing during Benediction during the vigil too!) I had been travelling from San Francisco to Sydney a week before and I met young people in the airport lounge who had never been out of their State learning how to pray “Pater Noster…” while United Airlines tried to bump people to tomorrow’s flight using the lure of an upgrade to business. It leads me to the second point. The Church is much more than the (often) parochial experience of the local neighbourhood church. It has a diversity and so on that Australians who went to their first WYD in 2008 will appreciate even more if they follow it up in Spain. The third of my two points is that Sydney-siders saw an unexpected side of Catholicism and, for a brief time, were touched in the manner of the rather unfortunate God-song I learnt as a youngster “they will know we are Christians by our Love”.

  11. Limbo says:

    Thank God it is now history

  12. Attending a mass with the Holy Father is a wonderful experience.

    I don’t know anything about WYD.

    I do know about questionable practices and liturgical abuses at “youth” Masses having worked for a ‘catholic’ high school.

    Why to these “youth ministers” thnik they need to water down or dumb down the ministry to the young ? I overheard a religion teacher saying “Eucharist is cool man”. Yes, I guess that it is but shudder at describing Our Lord present body, blood, soul and divinity in such a profane manner.

  13. anjaa says:

    Hello Father Z

    I’m afraid you are one month to early ;)

    I went to WYD in Sydney and it was GREAT. Well said Ann. I’ve seen some true miracles among young people during WYD :)

  14. Jason says:

    I attended WYD last year and I must say as a whole I thought it to be a very positive, faith-filled event. I consider myself a “traditionalist-leaning” Catholic, I am a regular follower of Fr. Z’s wonderful blog, the New Liturgical Movement, and have much appreciation and sympathy for those who are attached to the Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass. I long for a return to Catholic orthodoxy, organic reform and tradition in the liturgy as Pope Benedict XVI has expressed.

    Having said all that, I did cringe/squirmed at all the liturgical abuses that took place at the large Masses, especially when the loin-cloth-clad dancers performed a little skit during prior to the proclamation of the Gospel. And as a number of previous posters said before, the music at Mass was atrocious. I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed for Cardinal Pell and the organizers of WYD during the Mass. I kept thinking back to Cardinal Ratzinger’s book “spirit of the litugry” and saying to myself “Why are the organizers of the WYD liturgy are so seemingly oblivious to anything the Holy Father feels about Mass? Actually I was VERY embarrassed for them! I noticed that there are huge numbers of the Neo-catechumenal movement and Catholic Charismatic groups that attend WYD. Perhaps Pope Benedict’s attitudes will rub off on them one of these days.

    But that aside, there are many wonderful fruits that came from the event. The catechetical sessions (in which the article that Rich posted lambasted)that I attended were sound, directed at the youth and challenged them to be faithful witness to Christ to the world. The message of Pope Benedict throughout all his speeches were of course, profound and strong.

    As so many of you on this blog so rightly say the mantra “Brick by Brick”. In my opinion this applies to the WYDs as well. Bricks are being laid, confession, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Latin, a Vocation fair, etc are being encouraged. Who could have possibly forseen this 20 years ago?? Brick by Brick, my friends. Yes, there are many things that can be fixed. The “liturgical dance” needs to stop ASAP! that is an example of what can be done immediately to fix the situation, but there is hope in the bigger picture. THese are some of my thoughts, thanks

  15. RichR says:

    I am man enough to say that the posts here have helped calm some of my fears. As I said, the article simply gave me some reservations, but I am entitled to have concerns when reading stuff like that. The photos and firsthand accounts in the article are pretty convincing. Perhaps Mr. Ferrara was biased in his presentation, and maybe he cherry-picked bad examples, but I think that there are some things about WYD that should be addressed (rock & roll, mixed gender sleeping areas, liturgical nonsense, etc….) so that Catholic parents like myself have fewer qualms about sending their teenage children overseas. Are we strengthening our Catholic identity with these events, or are we weakening it? If you say we are strengthening it, what standards are you using to make that claim? How could you justify it to Catholics of centuries past?

    BTW, I wouldn’t say that I’m the “Charlie Browniest” (I hope that was said in good humor). There are bigger pessimists than myself here.

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