From Brendan Johnson’s journal: June 10, 2010
Today was the vigil for the end of the Year of the Priest, so we went over to St. Peter’s at about 5 pm to try to get in as close as we could to see the Pope. We were able to get in the very front of the seminarian section and to see pretty well the stand where the presentations were and, eventually, where the pope was to be. He didn’t come in until about 9:30 but there were talks starting at about 8:30 pm.
The talks, I’m sure, were very good, but only a few of them were in English so I didn’t catch much of what was said. At 9:30 pm when the pope came in, he drove right by where we were standing, so I was about ten feet away from him as he drove around before approaching the altar. There, he answered questions from priests from all over the world. He answered in Italian, so again, I didn’t understand anything, but it was still really neat to have him answering these questions — and without his notes, too.
After the Q & A, the Blessed Sacrament was brought in, and the pope presided over Adoration and Benediction, which was incredible! Everyone went down on their knees in St. Peter’s Square and went completely silent to receive Benediction. After Benediction ended, we got back to Fraterna Domus (late), but the sisters let us in so that we could go to bed for a few hours to get back up for the Mass the next morning.