Francesca – frozen ice, melted hearts


Today, I went to the Hyde Park to see how the pilgrims attending the World Youth Day were spending their time next to the St. Mary’s Cathedral. I was hoping to capture some individual faces as opposite to the crowd photographs from the previous day.

There were plenty of the young people around. Some were dancing and singing and some simply relaxed on the lawns of the park.

I have noticed a group of young men with Lebanese flags tightly grouped together. As I approached them for a photograph, they have asked me to take a photo of them with the ice cream seller, whose stand they have besieged. I took the photo with their small point and shoot camera and then I had another look at the ice cream girl.

Meet Francesca. She was selling frozen ice creams but melting young men’s hearts. Unsurprisingly, with the beautiful smile and captivating dark eyes she received more than a fair share of attention.

World Youth Day Sydney 2008 – Day 1


River of pilgrims from all over the world is flowing along almost every Sydney street towards Barangaroo for Cardinal Pell’s opening Mass. Media is reporting the expected number of pilgrims at 140,000 accompanied by clergy:26 cardinals, 400 bishops and up to 4000 priests. With numbers like that the Mass will be the biggest Catholic Mass ever held in Australia.

Sydney has turned on a beautiful, summer like day for the attendees, so there should be no surprise most of the young people really enjoy their stay here. Lots of laughs, singing and flag waving no matter where you look.

The crowd behaviour is so far exemplary and there are no protesters in sight. Security was limited to a small numbers of police walking along with pilgrims. This however many change, as Federal Court has today removed the highly controversial “annoyance” clause form the World Youth Day Act. It “affects freedom of speech in a way that, in our opinion, is not supported by the statutory powers” in accordance to Federal Court judges.