'military Pilgrims' Arrive In Sydney

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15th July 2008, 01:02pm - Views: 878

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Issued by Coordination and Public Affairs, Department of Defence, Canberra, ACT

Phone: 02 6265 3343, Fax: 02 62656946

CPA 224/08

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


‘Military pilgrims’ from defence forces across the world have arrived in Sydney as

they continue their personal spiritual journeys that will culminate with the Pope’s

final mass at World Youth Day 2008 (WYD08) on Sunday, 20 July 2008.

As part of Operation Testament, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is hosting the

visiting military pilgrims and will provide specialist and niche support to the NSW

Police Force during WYD08.

Military pilgrims are a tradition where members of defence forces from around the

world express their personal faiths by participating in World Youth Day. 

Operation Testament Commander, Brigadier David Saul, said he welcomed the ADF

and foreign military pilgrims to Sydney and Operation Testament.

“ADF military pilgrims will act as hosts to ensure the visiting foreign military

pilgrims enjoy their stay in Australia,” Brigadier Saul said.

The Catholic Bishop of the ADF, Bishop Max Davis, said he was delighted the

military pilgrims were participating in WYD08.

“Whilst the ADF is a secular organisation, whose multicultural and multi-

denominational membership reflects the faiths and belief systems of the Australian

population, we have a number of ADF personnel who will be expressing their

personal faiths by participating in WYD08,” Bishop Davis said.

“ADF and foreign military pilgrims are holding a ceremony today that includes a

reading of a statement of peace and singing hymns on the Sydney Opera House steps

to thank the NSW hosts for World Youth Day 08,” he said.

The military pilgrims will participate in many WYD08 events across Sydney. 

Military pilgrims attending WYD08 come from the ADF, Canada, Columbia,

Germany, France, New Zealand, UK and USA.

Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664

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