It is really weird. We have only known the pilgrims for a few days yet it seems as if we have welcomed long lost friends we never knew we had. This wasn't just a subjective feeling.
One of our friends from the village joined us for dinner on Thursday night - the second night the pilgrims stayed wth us.
When Lana dropped him off home he asked, "Did you know these guys before they came here?"
"No," Lana replied, "We only picked them up yesterday."
"Oh. It seemed like you have known them for a long time."
This photo is a shot of the whole group singing the US national anthem for us at the parish picnic today. The Bishop accompanying them is holding the flag in front. (Click on the photo for a closer view)
So in the morning Lana and the children will see them off from the parish church while I go back to work. They will be joining the many 1000's of pilgrims in Sydney for the week of activities and catechesis preparing for the WYD Mass on Sunday.
We have exchanged addresses and contact details and hope that we will get to meet them again.