.- Pope Benedict XVI will arrive at World Youth Day 2008 in Australia aboard the “Sydney 2000”, the largest cruiser in the region, which will be met by seventeen other ships in the Sydney Bay as the Pope arrives for the massive youth event.
Steve Lawrence, Director of the Office for Evangelization and Catechesis of the Australian Bishops, and Father Peter Williams, Director of the Department of Liturgy, explained that Pope Benedict XVI will arrive by ship to the Sydney Bay around 2pm local time and will be welcomed by fourteen ships filled with young people, in addition to dozens of small boats and vessels.
The welcoming ceremony will take pace in Barangoroo where, after a welcoming by the Aborigines, the Festival of Youth will take place. At the conclusion of the Festival, the Holy Father will ride through the streets of Sydney in the Pope mobile.
Regarding the Via Crucis on Friday of WYD week, the fourteen stations will be subdivided into six places symbolic of the city and will be reenacted by some one hundred “actors.” Young people will be able to choose between the six places to participate in the prayers.
The Via Crucis will begin at the Cathedral of St. Mary. The other places chosen for the stations include Domain Park, the Sydney Art Gallery, the Sydney Opera House, Barangoroo Bay and Cockle Bay.
“The selection of various places will allow the greatest number of people and of residents of Sydney to be involved. Evangelization teams have been working for some time to sensitize the people to this moment,” organizers explained.
The key moments of the papal visit will be the vigil and the final Mass at Randwick Race Track. Young people will travel to the track via four different routes, two of which will cover more than 25 kilometers.
Organizers expect more than 300,000 for the Vigil and as many as 500,000 for the final Mass on July 20.