Sydney Celebrates 1 Year Since Youth Day

Recalls Largest Gathering in Australia’s History

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SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 21, 2009 ( In Sydney, Catholics are gathering from different regions once again, to remember the World Youth Day event one year ago that touched their lives with grace.

A press release from the Sydney Archdiocese reported today that its archbishop, Cardinal George Pell, celebrated a Mass Monday to commemorate the first anniversary of World Youth Day in that city.

Bishop Anthony Fisher, an auxiliary of the archdiocese, affirmed in the homily: «Some of you may have been a little preoccupied a year ago.

«We had our tasks to perform and so we might not have heard all the messages or seen all the graces. But an anniversary is a chance to relive, re-collect, re-vision.»

The Mass was presented live over the Internet on the archdiocesan Web page, to allow global World Youth Day participants to watch from their computers.

Bishop Fisher recalled, «On this date, July 20th, last year over 400,000 people, including 4,000 priests, 420 bishops, 26 cardinals and one very happy Pope gathered for the largest youth gathering, the largest religious gathering, indeed the largest people gathering in one place for any purpose in the history of Australia and Oceania.»

He added that through television and the Internet, «the rest of our nation and another billion people around the world» were looking on «in awe.»

The prelate recalled that this even was «undoubtedly the happiest and holiest week in the history of our city, with its streets vibrating with the spirit of God, the spirit of youth, the spirit of friendship.»

The Mass was attended by priests from the country and overseas, those responsible for other commemorative activities going on this month, people who coordinated and organized last year’s event, and government and business representatives.

After the Mass, Cardinal Pell welcomed the guests to a dinner at the cathedral house, where he thanked the youth day organizers and expressed the hope that the fruitful legacy of the event will be seen for many years.

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On the Net:

Bishop Fisher’s homily:

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