World Youth Day, Sydney, 15-20 July 2008
Pope Benedict XVI
Cardinal George Pell

Message for the XXIII World Youth Day, 2008 - 20 July 2007
In his Message of the previous year, the Holy Father anticipated the 23rd World Youth Day, to be celebrated in Sydney, Australia, July 2008. The theme announced by Pope Benedict was from Acts 1:8, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses."

Message to the People of Australia - 4 July 2008
From Rome, the Pope greets the people of Australia, together with all young pilgrims who will take part in World Youth Day 2008. It is the Holy Father's firm belief that young people are "instruments of renewal" in a world that either has not heard the Good News or recognized therein the saving truth that alone can satisfy their hearts.

Interview of the Holy Father During the Flight to Australia - 12 July 2008
On Sunday, during the Holy Father's flight to Sydney, media representatives were allowed a question-and-answer session, which was introduced by Fr Federico Lombardi, S.J., Director of the Holy See Press Office and Vatican Radio.

Homily for World Youth Day 2008 Opening Mass - 15 July 2008
In the first major event of the week, Cardinal George Pell presided at the opening Mass, at Barangaroo. In his homily, Cardinal Pell spoke of Christ's call to all suffering humanity.

Welcoming Ceremony at Government House of Sydney - 17 July 2008
At Government House, the Holy Father addressed Governor-General, Major-General Michael Jeffery, Prime Minister Rudd, and others present, thanking them for their hospitality, and expressing the hope that the young people gathered at Sydney would have the courage to become Saints.

Welcoming celebration by the young people at Barangaroo, East Darling Harbour of Sydney - 17 July 2008
After a 'boat-a-cade' along Sydney Harbour, aboard the Sydney 2000, accompanied by 13 other vessels, the Pope disembarked at Barangaroo where he addressed a large crowd of pilgrims, speaking of human goodness, and of the dangers threatening to reshape us.

Ecumenical Meeting in the Crypt of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney - 18 July 2008
The Holy Father met with representatives of various Christian communities in the crypt of St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, remarking on the religious diversity of Australia. The Pope spoke of a "critical juncture" in the ecumenical movement and encouraged prayer to the Holy Spirit for further progress.

Meeting with representatives of other religions in the Chapter Hall of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney - 18 July 2008
The Holy Father spoke of the service religion does to mankind, in his meeting with representatives of other religions in the Chapter Hall of St. Mary's Cathedral. He called upon the world's religions to highlight "man's natural inclination to live in communion and accord with others."

Meeting with Young People of a Rehabilitation Community in the Church of the Sacred Heart, Sydney - 18 July 2008
The Holy Father met with young people of a rehabilitation community, in the Church of the Sacred Heart, at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney. The community, part of the Archdiocese's Social Services Agency, is called "Alive." This name prompted the Pope to reflect on what it really means to be alive.

Holy Mass, with the Consecration of the New Altar, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney - 19 July 2008
At the celebration of Mass, in St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, with the Australian Bishops, seminarians and novices, the Holy Father consecrated a new altar. In his homily the Pope reminded his hearers that every altar is a symbol of Jesus Christ, present in His Church as priest, altar, and victim.

Vigil with the young people at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney - 19 July 2008
The young pilgrims gathered at Randwick Racecourse, Southern Cross Precinct, for a Vigil with the Holy Father. The Vigil consisted of music and song, a ceremony of candlelight, testimonies, prayer, Eucharistic Adoration, and a homily by the Pope. The Holy Father focused on how to become witnesses.

Holy Mass at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney - 20 July 2008
During the course of the closing Mass of the 23rd World Youth Day, the Holy Father gave the following homily. Continuing the theme of the World Youth Day celebration on the power of the Holy Spirit, he challenged them to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in their lives for the renewal of the world.

Recitation of the Angelus and Announcement of the 24th World Youth Day - 20 July 2008
On Sunday, after presiding at the World Youth Day Mass, the Holy Father led the Recitation of the Angelus with the young people and after the Marian prayer said words of farewell.

Meeting with benefactors and organizers of the 23rd World Youth Day - 20 July 2008
At the Reception Hall of Cathedral House, the Holy Father expressed his appreciation to all who made this World Youth Day a success.

Greeting to the volunteers of the 23rd World Youth Day in the Domain of Sydney - 21 July 2008
Before his departure, the Holy Father greeted all who had volunteered their efforts for the "smooth running of each of the events" making up this World Youth Day.

Farewell ceremony at the International Airport of Sydney - 21 July 2008
At the Airport of Sydney, the Holy Father again thanked his hosts for their hospitality and said the Church can rejoice in today's youth and be hope-filled for the world of tomorrow.

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