Fiji pilgrims experienced “tsunami of faith and joy” at World Youth Day

Suva, Fiji, Jul 25, 2008 / 12:01 am (CNA) .- Pilgrims from the Fiji Islands have returned home after experiencing a “tsunami of faith and joy” at World Youth Day in Sydney.

The 596 youth pilgrims were hosted in Sydney mainly by Fiji immigrants in Australia. Their journey was supported by the Pilgrim Partnership Support Program begun by World Youth Day organizers in 2007 to offer poorer youth, especially those in Oceania, the chance to participate in the event, Fides News Agency reports.

The youth were accompanied by Archbishop of Suva Petero Mataca and Vicar General Father Beni Kaloudau. They presented their prayers, songs, and traditions at various times at World Youth Day, not only in the evening World Youth Festival but also in the Way of the Cross and the closing Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI.

At the Mass, twelve seminarians from Fiji, dressed in traditional garb, carried the Gospel and danced to typical local music from the island.