Archive for May, 2011

Travel News Barcelona

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Interested in finding out a little more about our first stop over on the pilgrimage? Check out the SMH travel supplement today (28 May) it has a great article on Barcelona.

Art Reflecting Belief in Spain

Friday, May 27th, 2011

“The Dark Heart, Art, Religion, Belief” This youtube clip gives an insight into how politics and religion have influenced art and belief in Spain.

July 2 Armidale Formation

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Journey prayer focus formation day Dorrigo

Journey prayer focus formation day Dorrigo

On Saturday 2 July a significant formation gathering for ALP pilgrims is being held in Armidale. The first part of the day will be spiritual preparation for our pilgrimage as well as a logistics update. It will also be an opportunity for those who have not attended any of the three formation gatherings to meet fellow pilgrims. This is a very important aspect of formation, sometimes pilgrims think this is insignificant but the chance to meet fellow travellers makes the pilgrimage all that more enjoybale.

Following the formation input Bishop Luc Matthys will formally commission and bless the ALP pilgrims. Lunch will be provided on the day.

Thank You

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Cook ISlanders Make it tow WYD 08

Our support makes it possible for many young Catholics from all over the world to come to WYD

Thanks to all who have so promptly forwarded the $60 for our time in Valencia. The money we have been asked to pay is for two things. Firstly, it is covering the cost of our meals while in Valencia and secondly EUR 5 of the money is a contribution towards covering the costs for pilgrims from poorer countries. The following quote from the organisers gives a greater context; “The Spanish Episcopal Conference has asked the Dioceses of Spain not to charge a fee to all countries of the group C, due to the economic difficulties in which they find themselves. For this reason and in order to help these pilgrims we have considered it appropriate that we all make an effort to cover the cost of our brothers and sisters from the poorest countries.” The letter from Valencia also makes the point that if we do not actively assist the poor to attend WYD and DID then we run the real risk of it becoming a gathering for the rich youth of the world and not a gathering of all Catholic young people.
Please keep each other in your prayers as we begin our final preparations for the pilgrimage.

Personal Preparation

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

As pilgrims preparing to travel to Madrid it is important that we take a little time each day if we can to reflect on why we are going. One great way to do this is to read about the WYD saints. Reading and reflecting on their lives will help us to prepare for Spain as it helps us to gain an insight into what the Spanish Church is hoping for. Do these saints demonstrate qualities of belief that work for me? Do any of these saints inspire if so why? If not why not?

On a cultural note do I know who the patron saint of Spain is? Madrid? Valencia? Barcelona? Will I able to visit their tombs? For me travelling to Spain last year and praying before the tombs of St Isadore, St Therese of Avila and St John of the Cross was a very moving experience. I will come back to Spain with a deeper insight into the profound influence these saints had not only on Spain but on the world.

The Tomb of St Isadore

This coffin in the Cathedral of Madrid contains the remains of the St Isadore.

Statue of St Isadore

Statue of Isadore Madrid

Merchandise for Madrid

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

There is agreat range of merchandise for Aussie pilgrims. If you would like to get some gear to wear in Madrid check out this link,

Catholicism in Spain

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Christianity in Spain has been greatly influenced by conflicts and conquests. Spain became Christian when Constantine made it the official religion of the Roman Empire. Spain lived through the fall of the empire and the subsequent invasions by the Celts and Visigoths but she remained Christian. In the 8th century AD all this changed when the moors conquered Spain. For the next 700 years the influence of the Moors and Islam had a profound and lasting impact on the Spainish psyche. The following youtube link illustrates the influence of the Moors on the architecture of Spain, something pilgrims will experience, as well as the Christian response following the reconquest.
\"Moorish Influence\"


Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Labyrinth Dorrigo Formation Day

Walking the Labyrinth a pilgrimage in miniature

The Dorrigo RSL Club echoed to song and prayer as 27 of our pilgrims gathered for the first combined formation meeting of the ALP. Fr Anthony, PP of St Mary of the Angel’s Parish and Pilgrimage leader was thrilled that pilgrims were prepared to travel for up to three hours to gather. “One of the important parts of any pilgramge is formation. Through formation you get to meet the others who are sharing the journey with you as well as reflecting on the spiritual aspects of pilgrimage.” Fr Anthony said.

The gathered pilgrims worked through a process of reflecting on journeys in life and in scripture. The pilgrims had the opportunity to walk a labyrinth to gain an experince of pilgrimage in miniature. The gathering in Dorrigo also provided pilgrims with an opportunity to find out about Spanish artistic and religious culture and to ask questions of a practical nature about the trip itself. “Many of the pilgrims will be first time travellers so there were a few logistical issues to cover.” said Carmel the APL’s logistics coordinator.

Those who were unable attend today’s gathering missed a wonderful opportunity to meet others travelling to Madrid. But there is another opportunity on Saturday 2 July. This is the day of the ALP’s formal commissioning in St Mary and St Joseph’s Cathedral in Armidale by Bishop Luc Matthys. The Bishop and the Coordination Team look foward to all our pilgrims gathering on 2 July.

Venue for ALP Formation Meeting in Dorrigo

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Date: Saturday 21 May 2011
Venue: Dorrigo RSL Club
Address: 2 Hickory Street, Dorrigo
Time: 10.00-2.00pm

Formation Meeting Dorrigo

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Just a reminder the first combined formation meeting for the ALP is on 21 May. To date confirmations are slow. We need at least 20 of our 40 to make it viable. Please let us know if you are coming. So far our Gunnedah and Lismore pilgrims have been slowest to let us know they are coming. This is an a important part of our pilgrim preparation and an opportunity for the group to get to know each other.