Notre Dame Sydney group attend Papal audience and visit original World Youth Day Cross

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 21-12-2007

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney

Publication Place



A group of three Notre Dame - Sydney students led by Mr Brendon McKeon [Senior Student Life Officer] and Mr Anthony Crook [Campus Minister] have recently returned from an end of year trip to Italy. As part of the Italy experience, and the Notre Dame build up to WYD 08, an element of pilgrimage was included in the trip. Two of the many outstanding moments within the pilgrimage aspect of the trip were attending the weekly Papal audience in Rome on Wednesday December 12th, and visiting the place of rest of the original World Youth Day Cross.

As part of the Papal audience official guests are welcomed to the audience, and presented to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. Mr Crook was thrilled with the welcome. “To be with such a large group of people gathered with the Holy Father was an experience in and of itself. However, to be specifically welcomed by name [Faculty and students of The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney] and acknowledged by the Holy Father was a wonderful moment for us all.” Mr Crook continued, “The scripture reading used for the audience’s liturgy was the Beatitudes, and to sit and listen to this in five different languages was a particularly powerfully spiritual moment. Overall it was a great day!”

On Friday December 14th, under the careful navigation of Mr McKeon, the Notre Dame group made their way to the Vatican’s International Youth Centre, where the original World Youth Day Cross now rests. The group spent time in reflection before the Cross, and then praying the ‘Our Father’ held in mind and hearts the needs of the Church, the University, their families and themselves. As Mr McKeon noted, “This was the Cross that was carried through the site of the World Trade Centre bombing, and so to pray for peace in its presence was a most appropriate thing to do.”

The group has returned to Sydney in time for Christmas.

21 December 2007
Media contact:

Fleur Edwards
0439 906 254