Karyn Kamman

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Walking with God

"We walk by faith not by sight" Cor 2-5:7




“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witness” Acts 1:8

On Tuesday 15th July at 10am as Members of CWLA stood ready to greet and meet the pilgrims of the world, the doors of the Vocations Expo in Exhibition Hall 1 were opened, and in they came in their hundreds!! It was thrilling and exciting and a little overwhelming on that first day, as we remembered back to when it was first suggested by NSW that CWLA National should be involved in WYD08 and a motion was passed stating that we should invest time, energy and finance to be part of this momentous occasion.

Our thanks go to immediate Past National President Mary Schultz, Sydney Archdiocesan President Moya Potts, members of her Office at the Polding Centre and Catherine McGrath NSW President, for their dedication in attending meetings, being available to support the WYD08 Committee when requested, and bringing to fruition the dream of CWLA being present at WYD08.

For me, your National President it was a privilege to travel across the country (I felt a little like a pilgrim) to spend time in the company of the young and not so young people from around the world; the special opportunity of being able to attend St Margaret Mary’s North Randwick Church each morning for Mass and the Rosary and then the challenge of making my way into the City on public transport. On Wednesday I attended a Catechesis session and felt truly blessed by the enthusiastic applause of the participants at the end of the session. I was able to support the parishioners of Waverley Parish in preparing and serving a barbeque lunch; to meet a Bishop from Zimbabwe, Bernadette from Ireland, and the young men who thought our Tim Tam biscuits were the best thing since sliced bread

On Thursday 17th July ten CWL members along with approx. 200 others from the community were invited to view the Ceremonial Welcome from the Federal and State Governments at Government House. We had a wonderful viewing position, quite close to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI -  it was a very special and moving experience. CWL members were invited to be part of all the WYD events, the Opening Mass with Cardinal Pell at Barangaroo, the arrival of His Holiness on the Boat-a-cade at Barangaroo, the Stations of the Cross, Dedication of the new Altar at St Mary Cathedral on Saturday morning (which I was unable to attend, as I was on my way home), the  Vigil Mass on Saturday and the Final Mass on Sunday at the Southern Cross Precinct (Randwick). Unfortunately I could not attend Donald McDonald’s performance at the NIDA theatre, however, Loretta Chester will report on the evening, which by all accounts was an outstanding success.

Our booth at the Vocation Expo was a great success. Young people stopped to speak - some said they knew CWL existed in their Parish, some didn’t know about Catholic Women’s League and all were more than happy to accept the Saint Maria Goretti cards which we handed out. A number of teachers from Catholic Schools, mostly from the country, requested a supply of cards to take back to their schools. Our National Newsletter was given to interested ladies and to the many seminarians and Parish priests.  All members who worked at the booth looked very distinguished in bright blue vests and CWL scarves.

I would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” and to ask the blessings of the Holy Spirit on each and every member who gave of her time and talent to assist at the booth. 
It was a wonderful opportunity to speak with members a their booths - the Knights of the Southern Cross, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart and watch their video of the Pope’s visit to the chapel of Blessed Mary MacKillop, Mary Star of the Sea community, Brigidine Sisters and Patrician Brothers, Sisters of St. Paul De Chartres and the Carmelites Nuns. Figures showed that on average 2,500 pilgrims passed through the doors each hour of the Vocations Expo. The PowerPoint display assembled by Chris and Christine was just lovely, however, because of the crowds, people were not able to stand and enjoy.

It is very hard to express in words, the exceptional feeling of absolute joy of being part of this one week in the life of the Catholic Church; the wonder of the moment; the young people with the flags of their countries (one proudly held aloft with the mop head still attached to the handle, another on a fishing rod, the Aboriginal flag attached to the branch of a tree), all so proud, singing and chanting “Alleluia” (from the Guy Sebastian song), “Viva il Papa”  and  “Ben-e-det-to”.

The weather was magical, cold but sunny. All around the rest of Australia during the time of WYD it rained, but not in Sydney. We were truly blessed.

We give thanks and praise to the Holy Spirit, for the foresight and determination, sometimes against great odds; the dedication to our Church of WYD08 Coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher OP and Cardinal Pell, for bringing this magnificent celebration of youth of the World, to WYD08 Sydney Australia.                  
Yours in Charity, Work and Loyalty       

Karyn Kammann
National President CWLA (Inc)