Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Overcoming obstacles of pilgrimage for true experience of the faith

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Liam McMahon (right) with fellow WYD pilgrims before departing Sydney on 16 July. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
Liam McMahon (right) with fellow WYD pilgrims before departing Sydney on 16 July. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

Day 1-3 of pilgrimage

We have traveled from Sydney to Hong Kong and then to Milan where we finally started the Italian leg of our pilgrimage.

The bus trip to Florence was rocking and everyone had a good time despite our exhaustion from over 24 hours in transit. From Florence we went on a guided tour around the city, which was awesome. Then on to Siena – birthplace of St Catherine; saint, mystic, and a doctor of the Church, as well as a patroness of Italy and of Europe.

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Now our journey has led us to Assisi where we will spend two nights. The Basilica of St Francis is huge! We’ve had the opportunity to learn about this namesake of our present Pope and have similarly found St Francis and his story very inspiring.

Personally, I have had an interesting time. This is my first overseas travel and is definitely an eye-opener for me as I have experienced landscapes and cities steeped in history and so different from Australia. I was truly awestruck as soon as we could see the mountain ranges in Italy and this continued to be the case in Florence when we walked the through the city witnessing the magnificent architecture and tangibly feeling the unique culture.

I have struggled with many things though, such as suitcase issues, hotel issues, jet-lag issues and communication issues, but overcoming these obstacles has just been another part of a great experience so far.

I have really enjoyed the Masses we’ve had in the Italian Churches and it has really made the experience special and unique.

As the jet lag wears off and we settle into the routine of the pilgrimage, I pray that our time here in Italy continues to be an awe-inspiring, faith enhancing and wonderful experience.

Visit to view the live stream of the main events of WYD 2016 from 27-31 July, or visit the live chat portal to join the global conversation.

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