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Young Catholics eager to greet Pope at World Youth Day

More than 200,000 singing, dancing and chanting young Catholics went into religious high gear on Thursday as they awaited Pope John Paul's arrival in Toronto at the World Youth Day festival.

The Holy Father was arriving in the afternoon by helicopter to take part in a two-hour pageant of songs, readings and prayer before heading back to his retreat on Strawberry Island, about 100 km north of Toronto, for another day of rest before the weekend's main events.

"It's very exciting. The Pope brings with him a very special ambience, an aura of holiness," said Gerard Tomelden, 28, of Manila, Philippines. "You feel your heart hopping, but you feel peace."

The official welcoming ceremony on the shores of Lake Ontario will set the stage for the Pope's other appearances during World Youth Day celebrations that include a Saturday evening vigil and culminate with a huge outdoor mass on Sunday.

Youth Eager to Greet Pope at Canadian Festival (Reuters)
Pope Will Not Meet With Abuse Victims (Washington Post)
Going in style: U.S. archbishop takes limo to small suburban parish (CNS)
Pope's Trip Is Bypassing the Anxious U.S. Flock (New York Times)
Anglicans, Jews and Muslims Work as Volunteers at WYD (Zenit)
Official Opening of WYD Is Celebration of Faith (Zenit)
Pope John Paul II Draws Protesters (AP)
Boaters on lake moved by Pope's blessing (Toronto Star)
Pilgrims Gather to Welcome Pope (AP)
Until John Paul, most papal vacations have been a Vatican mystery (AP)
National Broadcaster CBC Blasted for Anti-Catholic Coverage on Pope (
Pope visits lakeside centre for disabled (Independent Catholic News)
Pope brings message of hope to Toronto (Boston Globe)
Thousands of Youths Brave Heat for WYD Opener (CWN)
Scandals, Low Attendance, Media Cynicism Won't Dampen Youth Day Pilgrims' Spirits (CWN)
Pope's seemingly small gestures work wonders for youths in Toronto


26 Jul 2002