From Cardinal Seán's blog

I am now in Portugal attending World Youth Day.

The Spanish are the largest group. I think there are around 70,000 Hispanics and about 20,000 Americans here, so we're one of the top five countries after Spain, Italy, and France, which are the largest groups of pilgrims coming from outside of Portugal. Regarding Boston, around 900 pilgrims are participating in this year's World Youth Day.

Mass at the Fatima Shrine

On Sunday, we arrived in Fatima, where the bishop, Jose Ornelas Carvalho, and the rector of the shrine, Father Carlos Cabecinhas, invited me to celebrate the Mass.

We began with a rosary at the Cova da Iria, where the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima took place. Then, there was a procession with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Some of the Capuchin friars from my province carried the statue.

There were thousands of people in the plaza, and there were perhaps 100 priests or more, and maybe 40 or 50 bishops that concelebrated the Mass. It was in Portuguese for the shrine, but we had people there from many different countries, and we had quite a large group of people from Boston.

In my homily, I mentioned that Sunday was also the 20th anniversary of my installation as Archbishop of Boston.

Capuchin meeting

Tuesday morning, I went to the Church of San Paolo in Lisbon for a meeting of all the Capuchins that are here for World Youth Day. I think there are over 60 Capuchins visiting from different parts of the world.

The Church of San Paolo is in the community where a Capuchin saint, Lawrence of Brindisi, died in 1619. He spoke many languages and often served as a diplomat. He died on a diplomatic mission in Lisbon, and then he was taken to Spain and buried at the Poor Clare convent there.

Before the prayer service started, each group from the different countries sang songs from their country in the plaza there, so I sang with the friars from my province. Then, they had a prayer service, and our minister general, Brother Roberto Genuin, addressed the friars. It was a lovely event.

Focolare Movement

Wednesday, I had a catechesis in English at an outdoor site. There were about 4,000 young people, and once again, we had several Boston groups present.

The event was organized by the Focolare Movement. The new president of the Focolare movement, Margaret Karram from Israel, was there, so I was able to meet her. She was accompanied by the vice-president, Father Jesus Moran Cepedano, who is from Spain.

The Holy Father arrived in Lisbon on Wednesday, but I watched it on television because I needed to work on my talks.