World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia! July 15-20, 2008. Thousands of Catholic youth from all over the globe converged Down Under to gather with Pope Benedict XVI for prayer, fellowship and learning.
What a marvelous event to see on-line or via TV, thanks to EWTN's coverage. Did you have a chance to see it? If not, you can download the various events under "World Youth Day 2008". Lots of video to view. Apparently this was the first time that WYD had live feed on-line. How great that technology can serve us so well to proclaim the Good News of the Lord Jesus and help build up the Body of Christ!
As a "virtual" participant, it was thrilling to see so many young adults gathered to worship God within our Catholic traditions. Cardinal Pell of Sydney welcomed all the pilgrims and the Holy Father to Australia, and the Prime Minister of that country welcomed the youth of the world on their pilgrimage of peace. He had noted that many -- all too many -- times such a physical movement of young people from one location to another was associated with warfare. (Curiously, while he mentioned the words "faith", "Christian" and "Catholic" he omitted the word "God"! It seems to speak of the obvious reality of Australia's secular culture.)
At the end of World Youth Day, when addressing both Pope Benedict and all the participants at the Sunday Mass, Cardinal Pell noted that WYD has now become part of the Catholic reality and is an eagerly anticipated event in the life of the Church world-wide.
Pope Benedict XVI, continuing the tradition of the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II
in promoting and participating in World Youth Day 2008, at Sydney, Australia (15-20 July 2008)