WYD 2002 Papal Welcoming Ceremony: Message of Welcome to Pope John Paul II by Most Rev. Jacques Berthelet, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB)

Thursday, July 25 2002

Most Holy Father,

The youth of 172 countries have come to meet you.
The youth of the world welcomes you very warmly.
The youth of the world greet Your Holiness with affection.

These young people have come with their bishops, priests and leaders to create a chain of friendship which will stretch beyond all borders.
They have come to build a world of peace and a culture of love.
They have come to meet Jesus Christ and witness to their Christian faith.

And we, Bishops of Canada, are proud to welcome you, Most Holy Father, along with your collaborators.
We are proud to welcome the young people of the world, their pastors and their group leaders.
We are proud to host this seventeenth World Youth Day which is really an event of peace in a troubled world, a sign of hope in a time of fear, an affirmation of faith in the midst of doubt, a cry of joy in a universe of sorrow.

Your presence among us by itself tells us once again of those first works of the Gospel of your Pontificate: DO NOT BE AFRAID.
Your coming here reminds us of the first words of the Gospel of the new century: SET OUT INTO THE DEEP.
Your prayer among us tells us that other word of the Gospel that you love so much: BE HOLY.

Most Holy Father, thank you for being with us.