Just in case anyone has been living under a rock, the Pope dropped in last week…so Chelsea, Fran and I thought we’d pop over to Sydney to say Hi.
And what an amazing week-end it was…lot’s of people, and lot’s of walking, (especially for little legs!) but so worth it. To have been a part of such an event is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We were surrounded by an atmosphere of such warmth and welcome, it is hard to find the right words to describe it.
We started the week-end with Phantom of the Opera, and were lucky enough to have Anthony Warlow in the lead -oh boy, he really does it for me!! And Chelsea was enthralled, as I’d hoped she would be. It was so special for me to introduce her to her first grown-up theatre production, particularly one that I love so much myself. I’d been a bit worried she was still a bit too young to appreciate it, but now she has left me wondering where my baby has gone?
Of course, we did also manage to squeeze in some retail-worship too – this pretty much sums it up for me!
The highlight of the week-end for all of us was the Saturday night Vigil. It was awesome to be in a crowd of 180,000 people, and yet be surrounded by silence as everybody prayed together. And although he is softly spoken, and not given to theatrics, Pope Benedetto certainly held the crowd in the palm of his hand,and his quiet spirituality drew all present together. It was a moment of History I am so glad I was able to share with my daughter. Fran was a braver pilgrim than us, and she slept out (this involved hauling her 12kg swag there and back – a whole other story!) The week-end was filled with small kindnesses from strangers, too many to mention here, but one I will share: As I said, it was hard going for little legs, particularly on the way home from the Vigil. It was 11pm, an uphill walk, and Chelsea asked for a taxi(!). I didn’t like our chances so I told her she’d better say her prayers! Not surprisingly, we were a bit lost, and when we stopped to ask a group of people for directions, we were told to head back the way we came…aargh…I could feel my princess wilting at my side…but then one of the couples offered us a lift back to our Hotel. So in the middle of Sydney, two caring strangers gave us a ride – it really was that sort of week-end! As it happened they had been billeting some Pilgrims from Ecuador, so we certainly bumped into the right people. Prayers get answered in the most unlikely ways.
And as we prepared to head home, I have to say how glad I am we made the effort to be a part of such an occassion, and will hold the memories for a lifetime.
(PS Maria, if you are reading this, I PROMISE there was much spiritual growth through this journey, and will continue to be! We had a private Mass on Sunday morning, but only due to the 400,000 people blocking our way and a teary 8 year old. Sadly, the Pope was unable to join us in person, but I am sure he was with us in spirit!)
Filed under: Just Stuff! | 6 Comments »