— I’ve probably learned more this week about the history of Aborigines in Australia than in my entire life thanks to the emphasis being given to it by the organizers of World Youth Day. Today was no exception with the Stations of the Cross staged in Sydney.
If you’re not familiar with World Youth Day tradition, Friday Stations of the Cross always have been an important part of the program, and as today’s story by Dan McAloon shows, this years stations’ enactment was filled with symbolism. He writes for instance that “a golden winter’s afternoon light turned to twilight and finally full darkness on the harbor as Jesus’ body was taken down from the cross.”
Our own Paul Haring captured some of the symbolism in pictures (right), covering the seventh station where Simon of Cyrene is ordered to take up Jesus’ cross.
— Today’s other highlight was the papal lunch with 12 lucky young adults from around the world, including Armando Cervantes, 27, director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Orange, Calif. Among Cervantes’ gifts was a Mickey Mouse hat since Disneyland is in his diocese. Fortunately for the Vatican, and unfortunately for photo editors across the globe, the pope didn’t put it on.
— Over at our WYD blog, our writers are still talking about the papal arrival yesterday at Sydney Harbor. We mentioned earlier Kris Dmytrenko’s scoop, but there’s also a good essay there by Chris Valka, CSB, reminding us that the infectious joy that pervades Sydney this week comes from Jesus himself.
— Some of us are taking Saturday off, though you should follow the WYD blog all weekend (even though some of our bloggers are concerned that it will be difficult to post from the all-night vigil out at Royal Randwick Racecourse). But we’ll be back here on Sunday to sum up World Youth Day 2008.