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Cardinal Pell opens World Youth Day - 16 July 2008

 Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia, officially opened World Youth Day in Sydney yesterday.

The Eucharistic celebration, which took place at the port of Barangaroo on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, gathered thousands of pilgrims who had arrived from various countries from all over the globe.

The inauguration began with the arrival of the great wooden cross that many young people had helped carry in pilgrimage to Sydney in a trip that spanned the country.

Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, yesterday said the Holy Father was "absolutely serene and rested", thus denying reports that had appeared in the press saying that he was "exhausted" after the more than 20 hour flight.

Father Lombardi showed the journalists a video of the Pope praying, strolling and talking with his secretaries at Kenthurst Study Centre, the residence near Richmond where he is spending a few days.

He noted that the Pope, arriving at the residence this past Sunday after the flight, celebrated a private Mass at 6pm, then had supper and rested.

On 14 July, he celebrated Mass with his personal retinue and a dozen persons, took an early walk, and retired to his work as he does every morning. Shortly before 7am, Cardinal George Pell and Bishop Anthony Fisher, coordinator of the WYD, arrived for lunch with the Pope and to talk of the preparations.

After lunch the Holy Father took his typical afternoon walk with his secretaries. Afterward he returned to work and at 4pm, Fr Lombardi said, he met again with Cardinal Pell.

The director of the Holy See Press Office stated that around the residence there is a pond, a little lake, and a small chapel where the Pope stopped to pray the rosary.

At 5pm there was a concert with pieces from Schumann, Mozart, and Schubert followed by dinner at 19:00.

Benedict XVI will remain at the Kenthurst Study Centre until Thursday morning when his visit to Australia officially begins with a welcoming ceremony given by the Australian authorities.

Source: VIS