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Sunday, July 20, 2008


Deacon Harold

"The 23rd World Youth Day had the smallest crowd attendance in another country." So what!

This is the first time that WYD has been held in Oceania, which is a very expensive place for many pilgrims to travel. I would surmise that, given today's technology and the great gift of EWTN, more people "attended" WYD via the Internet or satellite than ever before.

It should also be noted that more people attended WYD than did the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Ed Peters

exactly, deacon.

Steve Jalsevac

Sydney's World Youth Day was spectacular but I have to admit, after watching the modernistic Way of the Cross, the Toronto one was more moving and powerful. It was awesome in its fidelity, realism and sometimes spine tingling musical accompaniment.

Being right there and following along from one station to another was a religious experience that I will never forget. The convincing, manly Christ actor carrying the heavy cross to the bitter end evoked true sorrow and gratitude for what Christ did for us.

However, that does not take away from the awesome organization and success of WYD 2008. And yes, it was undoubtedly the most watched WYD in history. The world has been blessed by it.

Adrian Ng

Having been at Cologne, I didn't experience the disastrous logistics that Fr Gamber described. Instead, there were a few frustrating moments at Sydney. Firstly, the transfer from the pre-WYD to homestay/schools was a mess. We were expected out of the Olympic park in the morning but the homestay/schools were only open at 4pm to receive pilgrims. No satisfactory solution was given where to store the luggage as we didn't want to waste 1 day when we could visit the city. Secondly, the sound system and the projection screens were not adequate or in a position that enabled our focus. Thirdly, it was hard to pay attention to the Stations because the open air environment where we were sitting wasn't prayer-conducive. Fourthly, there weren't proper signs at strategic places in the Exhibition Centre on what sessions were happening where; this was particularly frustrating as some venues were changed. Fifthly, the organisers said that groups that are linked will be given a same location for accommodation- that didn't happen. Sixthly, at Randwick, they didn't put the map for the place in strategic locations but hung it on the volunteers neck. Seventhly, Communion was disorganised- my parish priest even found a piece of host on the ground. Eighthly, one time, I waited one hour for dinner. Ninethly, I thought that the souvenir shirts etc were extremely overpriced.

Don't misunderstand; I'm not saying that Sydney didn't do a great job. But to suggest that it was logistically better organised that Cologne, no. The programmes at Sydney were awesome - Matt Maher, Hillsongs, Christopher West, John Pridmore, better liturgy....That makes it the best WYD for me!

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