• Sarah Dunn & Zoe Caruana

WYD 2016 Sleepout


After a long week of late nights and early mornings, we began our pilgrimmage walk to the location of the final mass. We took a tram for the first 6 kilometres of our journey, having to catch multiple trams in order to take us to an earlier stop from where we would have a chance to get onto a tram as they were severely overcrowded. The atmosphere was as exciting as ever; however the upcoming walk did not dampen the spirits of those onboard, with the Swedish beginning a sing-a-long to 'saints come marching in' and many other songs. This kept everyone up until the eventual walk of 6km, which did kind of lower everyone's morale.

It was hot. Everyone was tired and the amount of people in such a small area was just ridiculous. To top it all off, we had to carry all our supplies for the sleep out, as well as a large food parcel which contained our food for the next 2 days. After 4 hours of walking 6km, we finally made it to the field.

The energy was crazy and the amount of people that were already there was truly amazing.

The whole park looked like a sea of multicultural people. It truly was an experience of a life time. When we arrived, we marked our territory. We put our tarps and sleeping bags down so that no one took our spot. Pictured below is Bus 11 celebrating mass on-site in a little spot under a tree.

Pope Francis soon arrived in his little popemobile waving at the pilgrims; where he then walked onto stage. They had beautiful performances, and the Pope finally was able to speak to us. He spoke about the fact that we were a faith family and that it was up to us, the youth, to get off the couch and make our marks on the world and to ensure that adults were living lives in accordance with God's will.

After his inspirational speech, we had a candlelit adoration with every single one of the 3 million people in attendance receiving a candle; and venerating the eucharist in absolute silence with the Holy Father.

This was followed by concerts focusing on divine mercy... However by this point most of us crashed and began our long nights sleep on the grass in preparation for the closing mass.