The fruit of World Youth Days
The first World Youth Day Pilgrimage attended by the Neocatechumenal Way Communities from Australia was to Santiago di Compostella in the North West of Spain in 1989. Following the inspiration received from hearing the words of Pope John Paul II a call for vocations was held by the Inititators of the Way. The Vocational call for young men and women led to the creation of the first seminarians from amongst the Neocatechumenal communities in Australia. A vocational centre or pre-seminary with the prospective seminarians was set up in Sydney, from which seven men were sent to seminaries outside Australia. Two were sent to Rome, four to Newark and one to Bangalore. Capuchin Friar Paul Hanbridge was the director of the centre in Greenacre, Sydney.
After the World Youth Day in 1989, all the pilgrims returned to Australia via Rome where we attended a Eucharist with Pope John Paul II and a photo opportunity at his holiday residence at Castel Gandolfo.