France · 20 Days · 27 Moments · July 2016

Gerard Lai

St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland - Vinnies Youth QLD - WYD 2016

28 July 2016

Only a few more hours until some of our crew who are over at WYD get to attend the welcoming ceremony with Pope Francis... The team did their best to make a lot of noise all night long, and now are working on their perfect selfie techniques incase the moment to selfie with Papa Francis comes along... #goodworks #VinniesYouthQld #aussiepilgrims #wyd2016

26 July 2016

Hello from Krakow, Poland. We started our day with a gathering of 3000 young Australian Catholics for a rally and an opportunity to see the vast number of pilgrims from our island home. This is the largest gathering of Australians in Poland that has ever been recorded! We then headed out to Bologna for the opening mass with the multitudes of people from around the world. Seeing the growth the in group and the amazing perspective on life has been a blessing to be able to witness. Only better things to come from this point in :). See you then :) Ryan Andrews
For those of you wanting to follow the World Youth Day live stream at home! Opening mass commencing in t-minus 2hours.
Had some amazing memories at Vincentian Youth days in Piekary. We have met some amazing people with an passionate love for the Vincentian family and the works they are involved in. As we leave back for Krakow. Please keep our group in your thoughts and prayers. #wyd2016 #vinniesyouthqld #pilgrim

24 July 2016

Vincentian Youth Days - Piekary 2016
Moving visit to Auschwitz museum. Moving, heartbreaking yet hauntingly beautiful. After Auschwitz it was off to Radosna Nowina 2000 for Vincentian Youth Days. If the opening ceremony was anything to go by, we are in for 3 days of loud singing and praying. A truly wonderful day of contrasts. See you soon :) Faye

22 July 2016

To top off what was an amazing day, and the pinnacle of the first leg of the journey, we enjoyed an evening meal at the same church, with current members of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Paris. The positive energy and enthusiasm within the group was contagious and it's going to be very hard to beat this day as a whole. Peace, Morgan
After lunch we headed to the site which was, perhaps, the highlight of the pilgrimage for the group; Saint Joseph-des-Carmes, where lies the crypt of Frederic Ozanam. This was a surreal experience for all of us in our own unique way. Father Stanley lead us through a prayer and we spent the better half of 30 minutes self-reflecting, saying our own prayers and just being together in the spiritual presence of our founder. Peace, Morgan
Today we celebrated mass at the Saint-Etienne-du-Mont church. This was a very special occasion for all of us, as it was the site of where Emmanual Baily (the President of the first St Vincent de Paul Conference) lived. We were all so excited for Father Stanley, who was honoured enough to wear the stoll which Saint John Paul ll wore during World Youth Day when he beatified Blessed Frederic Ozanam. We were also near the location of where Frederic carried out his very first act of "good works". God bless Morgan
A highlight was being able to have holy mass celebrated by our very own Fr Stanley in the crypt of Basilica de Sacré-Cœur (The Sacred Heart Basilica) which happened to also fall on the feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This was really special as we were exclusively given access to the chapel down in the crypt. The 102 year old basilica boasted amazing architecture, paintings and statues! Stay in touch :) Gerard

21 July 2016

What an amazing time in Paris we have had. All the incredible people we have met and have inspired us on our journey to Krakow, Poland. We close this chapter with many great memories and cannot wait till our next leg of the journey. See you in Poland 😄🌍✈ Ryan

20 July 2016

Australian Vincentians meet French Vincentians for a picnic at the place of Frederic Ozanams crypt. Amazing day.... #aussiepilgrims #VinniesYouthQld #wyd2016

19 July 2016

A French dinner of Snails and Frogs legs... So proud of the group for how well they are journeying together now, and what excitement the group holds...

18 July 2016

What an amazing day, so many things to reflect on. So many amazing opportunities. We just came home from walking the streets of Paris providing hot coffee and tea to those who are homeless, personally I chatted with so many amazing people, and sadly too many with children. It's amazing that even though we don't share the same language, we share the same desire to laugh and be happy.... Today this was also reinforced when as a group we entered the crypt of the Sacred Heart Basillica. What an amazing and once in a life time experience.... Keep the faith :) Cass
More photos of our amazing mass experience... Will share the highlights from this in a different post. #aussiepilgrims #wyd2016
Some highlights from today!
We made it!!

17 July 2016

Bonsuir! We have arrived safely in Paris. After a 24 hour transit, we celebrated mass in the Foyer of our hotel before crashing for much needed sleep. 💤😴. Today we chase the ultimate selfie at the Eifel Tower, and hunt down Pokemon at the Louvre amongst other things. Last night I was talking to our Tour Guide about the recent attacks. A simple question "how is France" showed so much sorrow and real emotion in her eyes. They (the people of France) have been through so much in the last 6 months and the pain was tangible. When we had arrived at the hotel, there was significant construction across the road. I didn't think much of it, until our Tour Director made sure she assured all of us that was just Roadworks, not from any attack. That this even entered her mind, shows me the importance to continue to pray for those across world affected by Terrorism and War. The effect continues far beyond what we see on the News. Prayers & peace from us to you, Cass #wyd16 #VinniesYouthQld
See you later Oz!!
The official group departure photo!!! Paris, here we come :) #VinniesYouthQld #aussiepilgrims #wyd16 #francepolandprague

16 July 2016

Bonjour! Dubai here we come #vinniesyouthqld #wyd2016
It is really that close!!
Mission complete! Well under 20kgs, passport check tickets check CDA check and WYD docs check. That's all I need right. See you all soon in Brisbane!!

10 July 2016

WYD Commissioning Mass @ St Steven's Cathedral. We were joined by the rest of the Queensland groups for a commissioning mass celebrated by Archbishop Mark Coleridge. To know that we are journeying with wider Church of Brisbane is an amazing feeling. Bring on World Youth Day 2016!!! Ryan #vinniesyouthqld #wyd2016
This time next week we will be on our plane off on our adventure!
Morning Tea Bonding!! #love life

9 July 2016

WYD formation weekend in Brisbane #cardnight #wyd16 #oneweek