1,000 Priests Ready to Help with Sacrament of Reconciliation

TORONTO, JULY 22, 2002 (Zenit.org).- One of World Youth Day’s major offerings is the opportunity to receive the sacrament of reconciliation.

One thousand priests will take turns administering the sacrament during the event, which already has more than 200,000 registrants.

The initiative responds to John Paul II’s wish to enable young people to experience personal and sacramental reconciliation, a lost feature in some countries because of widespread secularization.

The sacrament of reconciliation will be imparted primarily in Coronation Park, temporarily dubbed “Duc in Altum” Park — a reference to Jesus’ command to “go into the deep.”

At specific times, 200 priests will be available to hear confessions in a variety of languages.

The reconciliation schedule is as follows: Tuesday, 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.; Wednesday, 2-8 p.m.; and Friday, 2-6 p.m. On Saturday, at Downsview Lands, the site of the vigil and papal Mass, reconciliation will be offered from noon to 6 p.m.

There will be no reconciliation Thursday because Duc in Altum Park will be used for overflow capacity at the papal welcome ceremony.

The sacrament of reconciliation had a prominent role in Rome at World Youth Day 2000. The historic site of the Circus Maximus was transformed into a giant confessional.

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