Snippets from World Youth Day

Rome Reports compiled this great video of some of the best pictures from the World Youth Day and, of course, plenty of others have given great accounts of their experiences. The Catholic Herald has done a fine job - many of the articles are online but there is more in the print edition.

I spent time today reading some of the Holy Father's addresses. My own sermon this weekend is going to include this passage from the sermon at the Mass (though there were many others to choose from):
I ask you, dear friends, to love the Church which brought you to birth in the faith, which helped you to grow in the knowledge of Christ and which led you to discover the beauty of his love. Growing in friendship with Christ necessarily means recognizing the importance of joyful participation in the life of your parishes, communities and movements, as well as the celebration of Sunday Mass, frequent reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation, and the cultivation of personal prayer and meditation on God’s word.
I particularly liked the story of how Deacon James Bradley was informed about being invited to sing the Gospel at the welcoming ceremony. Fr Langridge of Southwark Vocations, who is always very active in getting young people to attend World Youth Days, texted him with the message:
James I’ve arranged for you to read the Gospel at the welcoming ceremony for the Pope at WYD. Let me know if that’s a problem
Auntie Joanna writes quite a bit describing the event with great enthusiasm. This was matched by some young parishioners I was able to chat to yesterday after Adoration and Benediction. I hope to hear from some others tomorrow and will ask them to do an evening for the parish to show us their photos and tell us about it all. Here is one photo from LIFE which includes Anna from Blackfen - bottom right hand corner next to the policeman:

That prime position in the crowd took six hours of waiting in the sun. An interesting detail from the long wait:
We spoke with the policeman in front of us before the ceremony, he said he wasn't very interested in the Pope, he'd worked on security when the pope visited Santiago, and thought the occasions were overhyped. He had tears in his eyes when the pope actually arrived... you can see him turning round to have a look on the picture :)

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