Pope Benedict to confirm 24 at World Youth Day Mass

Sydney, Australia, Jun 17, 2008 / 02:11 am (CNA) .- Pope Benedict XVI will confirm 24 young people at the World Youth Day Final Mass near Sydney on Sunday July 20, it has been announced.

Twenty-four candidates for confirmation, 14 Australians and ten people from other countries, will receive the sacrament that marks the completion of baptismal grace through Pope Benedict.

“It’s not every day that one is confirmed by the global leader of the Catholic Church before hundreds of thousands of people,” said World Youth Day 2008 Coordinator, Bishop Anthony Fisher OP.

“The sacrament is life changing and to receive the sacrament in this way will prove an unforgettable experience, one that they will each carry with them for the rest of their lives,” he said.

Bishop Fisher said the Australian candidates were selected as representatives of their regions by bishops across the country. The Australian candidates range in age from 16 to 43 and are from every state and territory.

“We are absolutely delighted to be able to present them to the Pope for this momentous occasion,” he said.

The ten international candidates are in the final process of selection.

Up to 500,000 people are expected to attend the final Mass at the close of World Youth Day, which will take place from July 15 to 20.