MATUNGA, SEPTEMBER 5, 2011: The daily WYD (WORLD YOUTH DAY) program has a definite structure. Residential centres across the city are governed by a common set of house rules with pilgrims leaving base at 9.30 a.m. and returning at 9.30 p.m. Pilgrims could attend Catechesis according to their linguistic preferences across 262 centres in the city. Catechetical sessions extending from 10.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. commonly included praise and worship, testimonies; a talk by a Bishop followed by a question and answer session; and the Eucharist. A number of centres held workshops, prayer services, Eucharistic adoration, and reconciliation services through the afternoon. However, cultural and religious programs, and exhibitions were also featured at different venues in the afternoon.
Common programs for all pilgrims across successive evenings included the Inaugural Eucharist, Salesian Youth Gathering, Welcome for the Pope, and Way of the Cross. These climaxed with the 1.5 million pilgrims congregating for the Vigil Adoration Service and Concluding Eucharist with the Pope at Cuatro Vientos – an airfield admeasuring forty eight football grounds.
Adjusting to the heat and the crowds, groups moved around the city in an orderly manner; prayerfully attended liturgical services; and participated interactively, attentively and reflectively at the numerous programmes offered.
Apart from a lesson in organization and coordination, the WYD has given the participants much to think about. They would certainly have returned home more prayerful, reflective, and mature persons; and with a sense of the universality of the Catholic Church