Since the start of World Youth Day in Cologne, 30,000 volunteers have been assisting pilgrims and journalism professionals with a keen spirit of service. Some of them may have been inspired by a mass, celebrated for them, by the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
On Monday, about half of them attended a special opening mass, celebrated by Archbishop Stanislav Rylko, at the Bay Arena in Leverkusen, near Cologne.
Dressed in their easily identifiable red-and-white T-shirts, the volunteers also waved flags or banners from their native countries.
Archbishop Rylko said he was impressed by the number of volunteers that attended the mass, “how attentive and alert they are, and how wonderfully they reacted to the words of Christ.”
He told volunteers that the Eucharist is a model for their work. “It shows you how to give yourself completely to others, and how you can help,” said the archbishop and he urged volunteers to be Good Samaritans.