Nativity at St Michael's NowraIn the middle of the year I was travelling through South America with a group of young pilgrims from the Diocese towards World Youth Day. While everything on the trip started off really well, by the time we arrived in Rio de Janeiro, the weather had really turned against us and the rain started pouring down. Many events were affected by the rain, but the main casualty was the venue for the final Vigil and Mass which was flooded out so badly that alligators began to roam freely over this area of reclaimed swamp. Probably not the most ideal venue for a sleep-out with several million young people. Alas, the famous Copacabana Beach had to be used instead! In reaction, when Pope Francis welcomed the young people, he did not complain or lament about the weather and its consequences. Instead he said “I expect a messy World Youth Day. But I want things messy and stirred up in the congregations. I want you to take to the streets. I want the church to take to the streets.” When you look at the nativity scene with these messy eyes, many things begin to reveal themselves.

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Recorded at Midnight Mass, St Paul’s Camden (8’45”)
Christmas – Midnight

Earlier in the evening, I made a time lapse video of the outdoor Vigil Mass (while I celebrated Mass at St Mary’s in Leppington!):