17 August 2005
RTÉ 1 television to broadcast Papal Mass
live for World Youth Day
RTÉ 1 television will carry live coverage of the closing Mass for the World
Youth Day 2005 event with Pope Benedict XVl at Marianfeld, Cologne, on Sunday
next 21st August.
Transmission begins at 8:15 am (Irish time), Mass is scheduled to begin at
9:00 am and transmission ends at approximately 11:45. The programme will
cover Pope Benedict’s arrival and greeting of the estimated one million
young people who will be present. The commentators will be Fr Dermod McCarthy
and Fr Tom McCarthy OP.
Bishop Donal McKeown, Chair of the Bishops’ Commission on Vocations and Pastoral
Outreach to Youth, along with eight other Irish bishops and up to 2000 Irish
pilgrims are attending the event. World Youth Day 2005 marks Pope Benedict XVI’s
first official visit overseas since becoming Pope in April.
The Bishops of Ireland have published a special pastoral message for young
people to coincide with World Youth Day 2005. It is available, along with
details of diocesan pilgrimages and other relevant information regarding World
Youth Day 2005, on a special web feature at www.catholiccommunications.ie.
The theme for World Youth Day 2005 is “We have come to worship Him” (Mt 2,2)”
Notes for Editors
* The atmosphere for World Youth Day events is festive and focuses on prayer
and growing in Christian faith. Every day there will be Mass, prayers and teaching
(catechesis)on essential aspects of the Catholic faith as well as music and
* World Youth Day 2005 divides into two phases:
PHASE ONE: August 11th – 16th
‘Days of Encounter’: Irish Catholics will meet other WYD participants and stay
with German families in parishes across the country. Special activities will be
organised daily including Social Action Days, the chance to get involved in
practical hands-on projects.
PHASE TWO: August 16th – 21st Timetable (provisional)
Tuesday August 16th: Arrival of World Youth Day groups in Cologne.
Wednesday August 17th: Catechesis, Mass.
Thursday August 18th: Catechesis.
Mid-day: Arrival of Pope Benedict XVI. The Holy Father will travel down the
Rhine to meet WYD groups at Rheinwiesen wharf. Pope Benedict then travels back
to Cologne via the river and visits Cologne Cathedral.
Friday August 19th: 10.30 am: The Holy Father meets Horst Kohler and at midday
visits Synagogue. WYD Programme: Catechesis. Way of the Cross, World Youth Day
Saturday August 20th: Pope meets civic and political leaders including Gerhard
Schroder. Meeting with Muslim representatives. Pilgrimage to vigil site. The
Pope joins young people for prayer vigil ending at 10.30 pm.
Sunday August 21st: 10.am: Closing Mass with the Pope. 6.45 pm: Pope Benedict XVI
leaves for Rome.
* The highlight this year is that this is the first with Pope Benedict XVI presiding.
This year’s World Youth Day event in Cologne will be attended by a number of Irish
bishops including, Dublin: Cardinal Desmond Connell, Archbishop Martin, and Bishop
Raymond Field; Meath: Bishop Michael Smith; Waterford and Lismore: Bishop William Lee;
Raphoe: Bishop Philip Boyce; Kildare and Leighlin: Bishop James Moriarty; Limerick:
Bishop Donal Murray and Down and Connor: Bishop Donal McKeown.
* WYD has become a legacy and living relic of the vision of Pope John Paul II which
was to invite young people to participate in the very heart of the Church. Since
1985 millions of young people have participated in these great events. In 1985 as
part of International Youth Year the Pope invited young people of Italy to meet
with him. Around 500 000 young people turned up, including many from outside of
Italy. Pope John Paul II immediately recognised the potential of such gatherings.
He went on to keep these “appointments” with young people. WYD has since been held
in Denver 1993, Manila 1995, Paris 1997, Rome 2000, and Toronto 2002.
* The programme of WYD is always similar. Depending on costs, young pilgrims arrive
at WYD using a variety of means, bus, boat, car, train or aeroplane! After a huge
opening ceremony, young people have a daily programme consisting of catechesis
sessions, which are talks given by bishops and Cardinals to young people on a
* The theme for this year is taken from the Gospel account of the Magi – “We come
to adore him”. This is followed by Mass. Each afternoon, there is usually a large
urban space where a festival of faith takes place. It consists of a variety music,
dance, meditation, talks, faith opportunities and wares – albeit not under the one
roof. On the Friday there is usually a Way of the Cross and then on the Saturday
the Pope holds a vigil of prayer with young people, followed by an overnight camp
outside and morning Mass.
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)