The theme of the Mass is the ethnic diversity in the Catholic Church of Southern California; about two dozen languages will be used during the rite. The Pope and the bishops, who will celebrate Mass with him, will wear red vestments, honoring the feast day of Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian, martyrs of the early church.
"The procession of 320 U.S. bishops into the stadium will be one of the most powerful and visually exciting elements of the celebration," said Father Vivian Ben Lima, liturgical designer for the event.
Mahony pointed to the Dodger Stadium homily as a high point of the pontiff's Los Angeles stay. Noting that the audience will represent a large slice of the area's diverse ethnic communities, Mahony said:
"He's very, very interested in the diversity of peoples . . . immigrants and refugees. . . . I think his . . . message will touch very, very pointedly on . . . our responsibility to these people."
Bright and early Thursday morning, the pontiff will bid farewell to Los Angeles. The papal chopper will fly from the Civic Center area to Los Angeles International Airport. From there, the Pope and his entourage are to leave for Monterey.