What a great day today! We arrived at Holy Name Church this morning to Bishop Finn's smiling face. We had great Catechesis from an Irish Bishop and a few power packed keynotes from Bishop Finn.
After Mass we hurried off to the city for the Pope's arrival.
PILGRIMS WATCH AS POPE BENEDICT ARRIVES ON BOAT
POPE BENEDICT GREETS PILGRIMS WITH CARDINAL PELL
AN ABORIGINAL MUSICIAN PLAYS AS POPE BENEDICT ARRIVES
(PHOTOS - CNS/PAUL HARING)
The energy was exhilerating. I haven't heard the numbers yet, all I can say is that it was an overflowing sea of young people who love their faith and their beloved Holy Papa!! I was moved to tears by the joy that filled the air from this generation of young people. I thought they've got something that many people will never see. This generation has found it in their faith.
There was something Pope Benedict addressed we discussed at dinner that touched on this very topic. I'm not sure his exact words, but it was to the affect of how young people approach the future with such enthusiasm, yet the future is daunting to him. (Rocco at Whispers in the Loggia has the full text of the Pope's talk) One of the host families we are staying with made the comment, "isn't it nice to have this young group here not worrying about mortgages, bills, pressures in life or anything". They said their energy and enthusiam is a delight to have around.
I spend a lot of time with youth and young adults in my job, and I too am moved by their passion for life, intrigued by their carefree attitude toward the pressures in life, and their willingness to make sacrifices to attend events such as this. As I stood in the midst of all the love shared today, watching them push forward to get as close as possible to Pope Benedict as he drove by, I thought more adults need to experience this because to describe it doesn't give it justice.
To make a good day even better, we ended it with Matt Maher hosting an XLT with adoration. As Fr. Karl Barmann said, next to the Pope's arrival, XLT was the best event of the week.....powerful!