On Friday night it was pretty clear that the site of the Vigil and the final Mass needed to be moved. So, rather than trekking over to Campus Fidei the new home of the Vigil and Mass was going to be on Copacabana Beach. This meant a slightly easier day for the pilgrims who enjoyed a lie in. For the priests of the group, it meant an even earlier start! We had been invited to attend the Mass with the Holy Father that was for bishops, priests, religious and seminarians in the Cathedral of Rio. We got there in very good time and took our seats among the other priests from all over the world.
Mass was wonderful and the Pope Francis preached superbly. He spoke in Spanish so myself and Fr Jan were able to pick up a little of what he said. He was very challenging and told us that we should not simply open the doors of the church and wait for the people to come but to go out of our churches and presbyteries and find the people. I can't wait to read through the homily to see what else he had to say to us.
The Pope came past us again on the way out, I managed to get a little clip of him as he passed, we were so close! There was a lot of love and affection for our Holy Father at that Mass and indeed for the whole of World Youth Day. After his election as Pope I was holding my ground as a 'Benedict Boy' but after these days in Rio I am also a 'Franciscan Fan'. As they have been chanting all over Rio, "Viva la Papa!"