Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn left on July 9 with 750 young people to take part in the 23rd World Youth Day, hopeful that the papal celebration will leave a deep impression on Europe.
The cardinal spoke of his excitement to attend the festivities with Benedict XVI: “I have been driven to go to Australia by the experience of the latest WYD of Cologne, where it was unbelievably exciting for me to be able to celebrate and experience faith with so many other young people. And to meet the Pope, of course.”
The cardinal is certain that though the celebration is in Australia, WYD will have an impact on Europe as well. “These days can have an impact on anyone who takes part. Since World Youth Days have existed since 1984, many things have happened as a result of the Youth Days. We have found great guidance for faith, for life. I think the experience of these WYDs has been something extremely important for a whole generation of young Catholics.”
Other World Youth Days have been held in: Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Czestochowa, Poland; Denver, USA; Manila, Philippines; Paris, France; Rome, Italy; Toronto, Canada; and Cologne, Germany.