…..We are leaving together, but still it’s farewell
and maybe we’ll come back, to the UK who can tell?
I guess there is no one to blame, we’re leaving ground (over the water)
Will things ever be the same again?…
(with apologies to Europe, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jK-NcRmVcw)
Portsmouth Diocese had the last group meeting before departing to WYD and we all started getting a bit giggly and silly with excitement.
We all have our passports and health cards and we were handed our WYD pack: two official Portsmouth diocese t-shirts, which look rather chic, and a booklet with all sorts of information from the itinerary, to phrases in Spanish, emergency numbers and the Mass and prayers in English, Latin and Spanish. I was devouring it all as a fast forward of our trip to Madrid!
Then our leader claimed credit for his amazing organisational skills in booking us in early for WYD Madrid: he’s been given 3 VIP tickets to sit right at the front on the final mass near the Pope! – how about that! These tickets were raffled and we were all sitting on the edge of our chairs as he pulled out the names!
The whole meeting atmosphere was really cool and everyone was friendly, showing a great ‘spirit of fraternity and peace that has always been the cornerstone of this celebration‘ – as Pope Benedict XVI said.
In the afternoon, we went outside and had a group photo shoot with our new t-shirts, the English and Spanish flags and the Portmouth Diocesis banner. We all had to show off our new must have fashion accessories for the summer – besides with over 100 of us, we make the biggest group from England and Wales.
Going through our Spanish phrase book was fun and we learnt a few essentials: Hola, me llamo Paula, tienes agua? un bocadillo de jamon y queso por favor? gracias? Entiendes? Si o no?
And finally, to end the day, we made our way into church where Fr Mark and Fr Joe – who are coming with us to WYD all the way – prepared a ‘send away mini liturgy’. This included a one to one blessing on our heads and it was a really moving moment. I sat down in church and thought to myself: ‘here I am Lord, this is the end of the preparation to what I have been waiting for such a long time… Thank you, I can’t believe this dream is coming true… now officially is the final countdown na na na na!’