.- More details have come to light on Pope Benedict XVI's trip to the Mediterranean island of Malta this coming April. During his encounter with youth on the second day of his travels, the Pope is set to exchange words with the young Maltese from an "eco-friendly" stage.
Concerts will begin hours before the arrival of the Holy Father to the Valletta Waterfront on April 18, with bands and individual artists beginning to play at 2:30 p.m., according to the Times of Malta. A choir of nearly one hundred members will take the stage 45 minutes before the Pope's appearance at 5:15 p.m. He is set to arrive on a catamaran after crossing the Great Harbor from Kalkara.
Benedict XVI will spend an hour with the youth there, listening to the words of several young Maltese delegates and responding with a speech of his own. A young person active in the Church, a young family, a man preparing for the priesthood and a person who is "distant from the Church" have been chosen to address the Holy Father.
Fr. Charles Cordina told the newspaper that the youth event is especially important because the Maltese bishops specifically requested the audience.
He explained, "We could have organized a meeting with all the Maltese clergy but the bishops felt that a meeting with young people would be better because they are the future of the Church and our country."
Following the youth encounter, the Pope will go to the airport, leaving continuing festivities behind.
Five hundred young people are taking part in the organization of the event which features an "eco-friendly" stage, designed by 25-year old architect Daniel Darmanin, and made of recyclable cuts of wood to be dismantled and reused at the conclusion of the event.
Organizers of the event expect 14,000 young people to welcome the Pope.