Healing Line

Healing Line

World Youth Day

by Bishop Grech
Jan/Feb 2009

Back in July, renewal Catholics held an extraordinary congress in Sydney, Australia. Allan Panozza, who helped direct the international meeting we had here in Jacksonville two years ago, describes the Australian meeting in a news report put out by Oreste Pesare in Rome.

As night fell at Barangaroo on Friday 18 July, an icy wind blew off Sydney Harbour chilling the crowd of more than 150,000 pilgrims to the bone. Then just before 7:00 pm the giant TV screens placed around the site lit up with the question, "...Are you ready?"—to which a deafening response rang out, "Ye-e-e-es!" Then the Hillsong United Band began the first song of praise and worship, setting the scene for an outpouring of joy which quickly warmed both body and soul, as we sang and clapped and danced to the glory of our God...

The young pilgrims were treated to a powerful drama performance by the Youth Mission Team, and two gripping testimonies of personal conversion were shared by 25 year old Rhodes Scholar Jo Mascarenas from Sydney, and ex-London gangster John Pridmore. Bishop Joe Grech* preached a ten minute exhortation to the vast crowd of young people, encouraging them to be open to the action of the Holy Spirit and to love Jesus.

Members of the Receive the Power LIVE committee came on stage to pray together with Bishop Joe for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the young people. After all had renewed their Baptismal promises, we prayed in tongues for those assembled. At the same time, there were members of various groups positioned among the pilgrims to pray in teams of two for any who wished to have further prayer ministry.

Uppermost in our prayer were the three original intentions which inspired this whole event.

  1. An opportunity for young people to experience a personal encounter with the love of Jesus.
  2. To receive the power of the Holy Spirit.
  3. To be inspired to witness to the Good News throughout the world...

As I become one in spirit with that vast crowd of young people, flags from 170 different nations waved in time to the music, I reflected with gratitude to God that this was the culmination of six months of intense preparation by a committed team of people, representative of Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Australia...Our initial thoughts were that a group of us might gather near the Opera House and sing some songs and pray in an ad hoc way...However, the Holy Spirit clearly had other ideas! What eventuated was a joining together of all streams of Catholic Charismatic Renewal, including representatives from the major Communities in Australia...From these small beginnings grew to what in fact became the major Youth Event in the whole of World Youth Day celebrations.

...I thank the Holy Spirit for empowering us to touch the lives of many young people. "...Glory be to Him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine." — Eph. 3:20


Bishop Grech is well-known in Australia for making it a condition for ordination in his diocese that the candidates have made a “Life in the Spirit Seminar” and have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. Jan/Feb 2009 Issue