Monday, 14 July 2008

The pope's private mass at Kenthurst

Thanks to NLM for alerting us to this piccie of the Pope saying a private mass at the retreat centre in Kenthurst.
L'Osservatore Romano also reports the Pope's Angelus message from 6 July:

"...the Holy Father introduced the recitation of the Angelus with the faithful gathered at the Papal Summer Residence in Castel Gandolfo with comments on the upcoming World Youth Day in Sydney.....

My thoughts are now already turning to Australia where, please God, I shall be going next Saturday, 12 July. Indeed, the Twenty-Third World Youth Day will take place in Sydney, in the south-east of the Country. In recent months the "Youth Day Cross" has travelled through the whole of Oceania and in Sydney will once again be a silent witness of the pact of alliance between the Lord Jesus Christ and the new generations. The celebration to welcome the young people is planned for 15 July. The great Prayer Vigil will take place on Saturday, 19 July, and the Eucharistic celebration, the culminating and conclusive event, on Sunday the 20th.

The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference has organized everything very carefully, with the practical supported and cooperation of the Civil Authorities. The first groups of young men and women are now setting out from the other continents bound for Australia. I invite the whole Church to feel that she shares in this new phase of the great youth pilgrimage through the world, begun in 1985 by the Servant of God John Paul II.

The upcoming World Youth Day announces in advance to be a new Pentecost: indeed, Christian Communities began preparation already a year ago, following the guidelines I indicated in my Message on the theme: "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1: 8). This is the promise that Jesus made to his disciples after the Resurrection and that is still valid and timely in the Church: the Holy Spirit, awaited and received in prayer, instils in believers the ability to be witnesses of Jesus and his Gospel.

The Divine Spirit, filling the Church's sails, urges her "to put out into the deep" ever anew, from generation to generation, to bring everyone the Good News of God's love, fully revealed in Jesus Christ who died and rose for our sake. I am sure that Catholics from every corner of the earth will join me and the young people gathered in Sydney, as if in an Upper Room, insistently invoking the Holy Spirit so that he will fill their hearts with inner light, with love for God and for their brethren and with courageous initiative in introducing Jesus' eternal message into the variety of languages and cultures. The World Youth Day Cross is accompanied by the icon of the Virgin Mary. Let us entrust this journey in Australia and the Youth Meeting in Sydney to her motherly protection. In addition, on this first Sunday in July I wish to invoke Mary's intercession so that the summer season may offer to all the opportunity for a period of rest and of physical and spiritual renewal. "

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