From Cardinal Seán's blog

At other World Youth Days, I have always done the catechesis in a church, and there would be a couple hundred people, but this time the groups I had were huge, in the thousands. There were 70,000 Spaniards at World Youth Day, plus many people from Latin America, so they needed many catechesis sessions.

On Friday, I had another catechesis in Spanish at Sao Joao de Brito. It was in a huge stadium that the Polish pilgrims were using alongside the Hispanic group. A group of friars was there, so I asked them to sing a little bit while we got things organized. I gave a catechesis, and then we had sort of an open mic, where we passed the microphone around and let people ask questions. It was very interesting, and they asked very good questions.

In my catechesis, I talked about the Eucharist. I referenced the story of the rugby team from Uruguay whose plane crashed in the Andes. They were missing for three months and were presumed dead, but 19 survived by consuming the flesh of the ones killed in the accident. They said what gave them the courage to do that was Christ's words, "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you do not have life within you." I talked about the Eucharist allowing us to survive, not just an airplane crash or cancer or a heart attack, but even death, because Christ promises life everlasting.

After the Mass, one of the priests who was concelebrating came up to me and said he was from the school the team had attended, a Christian school run by Irish Christian brothers in Montevideo. All the students from that school came up. I was blown away!

There was also a group of young people from Costa Rica helping to organize. It was a wonderful experience, as all of the "Rise Up" sessions were.

After that was the Via Crucis.

Mass with the Boston group

On Saturday, we had a Mass for our Boston group in the Church of Our Lady of Fatima. There were a couple of Lithuanian bishops who concelebrated with us, and a number of Boston priests.

After that Mass, I went to the Capuchin Mass. Some of our friars and parishioners from Papua New Guinea were there. Our new archbishop, an Italian Capuchin named Francesco Neri, was just named an archbishop in June. Also, there were the present and previous Capuchin bishops of Saudi Arabia. One of their priests is Father Abishai Vase, who studied at St. John's Seminary.

At the end of the Mass, I gave a blessing to the pilgrims, and the bishop blessed us with the relic of Blessed Carlo Acutis, who is buried in the Capuchin church in Assisi.

Vigil with the Holy Father

That night, we had the vigil with the Holy Father. It was very beautiful. They had some testimonies from young people from different parts of the world.

For me, the most impressive part was the Eucharistic adoration and the profound silence of the people during that period.

The Holy Father was very animated in his talks. He was very interactive with the young people, something they tried to encourage this year. He certainly pointed the way how to do that. I was pleased by how well he looked, because it was very hot and he was driving around in the popemobile in the blazing heat, and it didn't seem to faze him. You could see how energized he was by all the young people.