Pope Benedict XVI to Participate
“Life on the Rock” To Air Live From Sydney Opera House
Irondale, AL (EWTN) – EWTN Global Catholic Network will provide live comprehensive coverage of the events of World Youth Day 2008 (WYD08), to be held July 15 – 20 in Sydney, Australia.
During the six-day celebration, EWTN’s viewers will not only enjoy all the WYD events with Pope Benedict XVI, but also will be privy to such exclusives as an interview with Sydney’s Cardinal George Pell; a live youth show straight from Australia’s most recognizable landmark, the Sydney Opera House; and much more.
Since its inception by the late Pope John Paul II in 1986, World Youth Day has become the largest gathering of young people in the world. Approximately 225,000 registrants are expected to take part in WYD08, including 125,000 international visitors (more than the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney), 2,000 clergy, and 700 Bishops and Cardinals.
Organizers expect the closing Mass with Pope Benedict to attract more than 500,000 people.
EWTN’s coverage will include a 90-minute special presentation at 8 p.m. ET, Thursday, July 17 of the network’s call-in show for youth, Life on the Rock, which will air live from the Sydney Opera House. Father Mark Mary Cristina, MFVA, host of Life on the Rock, will be joined in studio via satellite by co-host Doug Barry. Father Mark, who will also be hosting EWTN’s live continuous coverage, says viewers can expect an inside look at WYD – including spectacular views of Sydney -- in both the live show and in a follow-up Life on the Rock on the Road, which will air 8 p.m. ET July 24.
“EWTN’s World Youth Day team is flying to Sydney the week before the event,” said Father Mark. “We’ll go to Blessed Mary MacKillop Chapel, and to St. Mary’s Cathedral, where we’ll see the body of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, one of the patrons for World Youth Day, whose body has been transported from Turin, Italy. He died when he was 24-years-old. He’s a model for youth of a life of social activism and prayer. We’ll tape all of that.”
There’s also a pre-World Youth Day special “Pilgrim Formation,” in which young adults will discuss the conversion of heart that thousands encounter at WYD events and the importance of living in obedience to Holy Mother Church. (Airing at 4 p.m. ET July 12, 10 p.m. ET July 13, and 5 a.m. ET July 15.)
But this is only the beginning. The live shows, which begin Tuesday, July 15, on EWTN will include:
• The Opening Mass with Sydney’s Cardinal Pell at Barangaroo, a magnificent waterfront site. (Airing live 2 a.m. ET Tuesday, July 15 with encores at noon and 9 p.m. ET July 15, and 12 a.m. ET July 16.)
“Wednesday’s schedule also includes veneration of both the WYD cross, which has traveled around the world, and an icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, as well as all-day Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the Sydney Opera House,” said Father Mark. “Wednesday afternoon, the WYD team will tape vespers and evening prayer in Latin and Georgian chant and we’ll show highlights. Afterwards, we will interview Cardinal Pell.”
• Arrival and welcome of the Holy Father. (Airing live 12:30 a.m. ET Thursday, July 17. Encores at 10 a.m. ET, 4 p.m. ET and 9:30 p.m. ET.)
• Stations of the Cross, a theatrical and devotion re-enactment of Our Lord’s Passion and Death to be held at a number of venues which will transform Sydney into an outdoor cathedral, will be hosted by Father Mark and Jason Evert. (Airing live 12:30 a.m. ET July 18 with encores at 2:30 p.m. ET.)
“Friday night, we’ll go to the “Receive the Power Live” concert and tape footage for the following week, which will be another cool week of coverage” Father Mark said.
• Holy Mass with the Australian bishops and consecration of the new altar at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. (Airs live 7 p.m. ET Friday, July 18, with an encore at 12 a.m. ET Saturday, July 19.)
• Evening Vigil with the Holy Father. (Airing live 4:30 a.m. ET July 19, with encores at 2 p.m. ET.)
“Saturday’s highlights will include the pilgrimage walk to the site of the Closing Mass and the Evening Vigil,” Father Mark said.
The July 24 showing of Life on the Rock will feature a segment with Father Mark from atop the spectacular Sydney Harbour Bridge, with its birds-eye view of the walking bridge over which youth will travel in their pilgrimage to the Closing Mass with Pope Benedict at Randwick Racecourse and Centennial Park.
• Closing Mass with Pope Benedict, which is expected to attract a half million pilgrims. (Airing live 7 p.m. ET July 19 with encores at 12 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET July 20.)
All the papal events will also be provided on the Network’s U.S. Spanish-language channel EWTN Espańol and on the Network’s international Spanish-language service, EWTN El Canal Católico.
Father Mark will be blogging about the whole event on www.ewtn.com. The website will also feature live streaming video of the events as well as on-demand video of every major event.
EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 27th year, is available in over 148 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website www.ewtn.com and publishing arm, EWTN, is the largest religious media network in the world.