.- Nearly 20,000 priests are expected to accompany the young people attending World Youth Day 2011 in August, announced Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco of Madrid, Spain.
“To accompany young people in this great celebration with the Word and with the Eucharist and with devoted pastoral care is the great challenge and opportunity that (World Youth Day) gives us for the present and the future of the Church,” he stated.
Cardinal Rouco said numerous bishops and a “massive” number of priests from around the world are expected to attend the youth event taking place August 16-21 in Madrid. “The number of priests registered has surpassed 12,000 and we expect that number to reach 15,000-20,000,” he said during a Mass for the feast of Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest, celebrated in Spain on June 15.
Cardinal Rouco Varela recalled the long logistical and spiritual preparation for World Youth Day 2011, centered upon “the Cross of Christ, the Cross of the World Youth Days, and the Icon of the Virgin Mary at its side.”
“The service of priestly ministry during the preparation has been essential, and during the event it will be even more so,” he added.