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Fordham Students Blog from ‘Down Under’ for World Youth Day


Members of the Fordham community are making a pilgrimage to Sydney, Australia, for the Catholic Church’s 2008 World Youth Day, and are blogging about their experience.

The group, which consists of students, administrators and Jesuit scholastics, arrived in Australia on July 4. Several members headed to Brisbane to participate in MAGiS 2008, a week of spiritual and service experiences for the pilgrims. The second part of MAGiS begins on July 12, when some 1,500 pilgrims converge on St. Ignatius’ College in Sydney to share what they have learned from their experiences.

World Youth Day is one of the largest youth events in the world. It runs from July 15-20 in Australia’s unofficial capital and is expected to draw more than 125,000 people from around the globe and 100,000 Australians. The event is an invitation from Pope Benedict XVI to the world’s youth to celebrate their faith. It will mark the pope’s first visit to Australia. He is scheduled to arrive via boat-a-cade on July 17 in Sydney Harbor.

“Events like World Youth Day are great models for revitalizing young Catholics and transforming our worldview into one where we do everything with faith,” wrote student blogger Dave de la Fuente, a Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) junior majoring in political science and theology. “This will be an opportunity for me to examine my own faith, my knowledge, my actions, and work towards improving them and grounding them in God.”

Also in attendance from Fordham are Jason Appelgate, an FCLC sophomore, Patrick Callaghan, a student in the Graduate School of Social Service and Campus Ministry staff member , Katy Corum, an FCLC ‘junior, Roxanne de la Torre, a Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) senior, Joseph Hill, S.J., a member of Ciszek Hall Jesuit Community and a student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), Stephen Hill, an FCRH  junior, Kristina Lessard, an FCRH senior, Ethan Lingenhol, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration (CBA), Diana Mazzuca, an FCRH senior, Michael Powell, an FCRH ‘senior, and Vincent Strand, S.J., a member of Ciszek Hall Jesuit Community and a GSAS student.

World Youth Day is expected to be the largest event Australia has ever hosted, with approximately 500,000 people attending the pope’s closing mass on July 20 at Sydney’s Centennial Park. The celebration is expected to draw some 500 cardinals and bishops.


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