09 September 2008


As the seeds of the World Youth Day 2008 continue to come to fruition, the Church, too, continues to grow into the twenty-first century through the medium of the Internet.

On Sunday, His Emminence George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney and host of WYD 2008, sent a message to users of the Church's "social networking site," XT3 urging participants in the WYD to continue to search, seek and act.

His message, in full:

Greetings to all on Xt3.com.

For those of you who were pilgrims and those who participated from afar, I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ. Xt3.com is just one of the fruits from World Youth Day 2008 and I am pleased to see that there are already more than 30,000 users of this online Christian community. I join you today, 50 days after World Youth Day to continue to walk with you on your journey.

During our week together we experienced much joy and celebration, connection with a faithful fellowship of pilgrims, and unprecedented excitement and enthusiasm. This powerful experience can be very difficult to sustain after you return to your home, parish, study and work. It is not expected that you could continue in this state of celebration and nor is it feasible to stage the kind of events we hosted in Sydney everyday. However, it is possible - and very important - that we sustain our relationship with Jesus Christ. For those of you who are flagging or finding some difficulty after your pilgrimage here are some thoughts that might be helpful:

Search; Pray and Listen – WYDs are notoriously noisy and involve a hyperactive schedule of events. It is important to spend time in prayer, and seek the grace of the Holy Spirit that we learned so much about with our theme “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). If you are not used to prayer, start with something simple each day, talk to your parish priest or prayerful people that you know.

Seek; the Sacraments - through our Church we have access to the Power that Christ teaches to the Apostles. In particular, I encourage you to regularly seek out the Eucharist, the means in which our WYD Fellowship is held in Communion with Jesus Christ. You can also experience the power of the Holy Spirit through the mercy and compassion of forgiveness in the beautiful sacrament of Reconciliation. Seek your vocation and do not be afraid, for through this commitment we find life.

Act; as the apostle you know you are - Pope Benedict XVI reminded us that our life is not governed by chance. Our existence is not random – it has been willed by God, blessed and given a purpose. Make use of your gifts and build the civilization of love starting with your family, friends and parish. We have prepared a 10 chapter guide to supporting you called Activ8 Witness: Mission and Love and made this available at www.xt3.com/activ8.

I look forward to continuing our friendship as we walk together as one body. Stay strong and keep close to the Lord!

In Christ,

Cardinal George Pell

But the Archbishop of Sydney is not the only one embracing this new medium. The Holy Father himself sent a brief message to the users of XT3 yesterday. Pope Benedict XVI said:

Dear Friends,

Fifty days ago we were together for the celebration of Mass.

Today I greet you on the birthday of Mary, Mother of the Church.

Empowered by the Spirit and courageous like Mary, your pilgrimage of faith fills the Church with life!

Soon I am to visit France.

I ask you all to join me in praying for the young people of France.

May we all be rejuvenated in hope!


There are, of course, other prelates who make use of the Internet to bring the Gospel to more and more people. We shall have to wait and see where XT3 will lead.

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