In his first of three catechesis, he said that Christians are good at procrastinating with God and he encouraged pilgrims to receive mercy and to make a decision about their faith at World Youth Day.
“I want God, I need God, I need a saviour, I am a sinner, I need his mercy,” he said.
He described the moment that changed the world when John Paul II came to Poland in 1979 and on June 10, 1979 a papal Mass with 3 million attending.
“For 20 years Poland was in slavery, there was oppression, human rights had been trampled, the sacredness of human life was violated. Two-thirds of the Polish people saw the Pope on that visit. 100,000 troops were present to stop uprisings. Not once did he (John Paul II) speak of uprising.”
“He spoke about God, he spoke about faith, he spoke about the sacredness of human life.”
“Then things changed, Poland began to stand up. One person started a chant, ‘We want God’ and within moments the entire crowd were chanting.”
He said this moment was the beginning of the end of communism in Poland and eventually the entire eastern block countries.
Parramatta pilgrims joined others Dioceses in the Philippines, Canada, USA, UK and other English speaking countries. The three days of catechesis is one of the main events outside of the Papal ceremonies in World Youth Day. The speakers for catechesis events are kept secret, only the language and location is published. It is an opportunity for pilgrims to hear different Bishops from around the world and for groups from different countries to interact.
This week, pilgrims will attend catechesis, music festivals and major events with Pope Francis. The first major papal event will be Mass with the Pope in Blonia park.
MORE: A pilgrim from the Dicoese of Parramatta got the opportunity to ask Cardinal Dolan a question – Click here to find out more