Final Mass was largest gathering of people in Australia’s history

Sydney, Australia, Jul 20, 2008 / 02:14 am (CNA) .- The Final Mass concluding World Youth Day celebrations contained a number of distinctive features. First and foremost among the highlights is that it was the largest gathering of people in the history of Australia.

This Mass was the grandest and most significant one in Australia’s history, attended by twenty-six cardinals, 420 bishops and thousands of priests and religious.

Another extraordinary occurrence was the Confirmation of 24 people, including fourteen Australians and Juan Martinez from the U.S.A.
It was a momentous task to distribute Communion to the masses, which involved 1,300 priests, Acolytes and Extraordinary Ministers.

“This whole week has just been a magnificent eye-opener to how faith and God is alive among young people and the Church in Australia,” said Fr. Mark Podesta WYD08 spokesman.

“Never before has Australia and Sydney seen such a mass gathering of happy and exuberant young people- it completely transformed our city!”

Tomorrow, the Holy Father will thank the 8,000 volunteers at a special farewell party in the Domain beginning at 8:00 a.m.

The final farewell of the Holy Father will be at Sydney Airport when he boards his Qantas flight to Rome at 10:00 a.m. on Monday.

Adrianna, one of the pilgrims revelling in Spain’s chance to host WYD11, invited all pilgrims to Spain saying, “It’s a very beautiful country, there’s lots to see. People are very friendly, you’ll make lots of friends and have fun there with all of us.”