Young Catholics inspired to be at church festival

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Young Catholics attending the church's World Youth Day festival in Brazil have celebrated Mass on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach, giving Pope Francis a day of rest after his trans-Atlantic flight.

An estimated 1.5 million Catholics from around the world have flocked to the week-long event, which Francis chose for the first foreign trip of his young papacy.

Father Matt Lowry, a priest from Flagstaff, Ariz., told EWTN that the South American pope's return to the traditionally Catholic continent has the potential to inspire young people to spread their faith once they return home.

Many attendees say celebrating with Pope Francis and a global gathering of their fellow Catholics is a faith-building experience.

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