Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Word Youth Day report: this is cool...

Australia's largest-ever crowd falls silent...

Sydney, Jul. 21, 2008 (CWNews.com) - At the height of the World Youth Day (WYD) celebration, the Randwick racetrack outside Sydney became the 10th-largest "city" in Australia-- a city in which 200,000 joined in silent adoration of the Blessed Sacraments, and 1,000 priests were mobilized to hear confessions.

Australian officials report that the Sunday-morning Mass at Randwick on July 20 saw the largest single gathering of people in the country's history. An estimated 400,000 people joined in the congregation as Pope Benedict presided at the closing Mass of WYD.

Earlier, at a Saturday-evening prayer vigil, about 200,000 young people joined the Holy Father in silent prayer before the Eucharist after Benediction. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed for 24-hour veneration in a tent maintained by the Missionaries of Charity at one side of the racetrack venue. The tent remained crowded, with prayerful pilgrims coming and going throughout the night.

WYD organizers had set up 250 locations around Sydney for young people to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, and recruited priests to hear confessions in a number of different languages. Long lines formed for confession, noted Msgr. Marc Caron, who organized that aspect of the WYD project. He reported that over 1,000 priests were busy hearing confessions at a time to accommodate the young pilgrims.

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