The Caritas team has touched down in Madrid, Spain, to take part in World Youth Day celebrations.

Gday Madrid!!

We´ve arrived to hot and sunny Madrid after a long journey from Sydney. We were ecstatic to be out of the Aussie winter, but we were in for a shock with temperatures of 38 degrees!

This morning we attended the Australian gathering at Palacio de Desportes with 4000 fellow Aussie pilgrims. The energy was high-spirited as people were singing and dancing outside the auditorium.

Once inside, it was great to be part of this massive Australian community. It was amazing to see everyone bond over Aussie pride, and also connect though our celebration of faith.

The first speaker, Cheryl Fernandes reminisced about Sydney WYD 2008 and her recent pilgrimage from Israel. For us, her powerful speech inspired us to take our experiences here in Madrid and continue to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God once we have returned.

Next, Jonothan Zarb spoke about Mary Mackillop and reminded us that we are all travellers and to trust in God always. One of Mary Mackillop´s famous quotes is “Never see need without doing something about it” and this rang true with us because of Caritas´ work with social justice and helping those in need.

Other highlights of the Aussie gathering included a Mexican Wave that went on for a good few rounds, an indigenous dance and even a rocker priest who sang his own song!

We feel privileged to be here in Spain, being witnesses of hope and joy through our faith. It is wonderful to meet so many people from around the world and to be part of the vibrant celebrations that bring us together. We hope to take our experiences this week back to Australia and instill it in our lives and work.

We look forward to the week ahead and will keep you all posted!

Elizabeth and Krystie of Caritas Australia