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Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Monday, 20 September 2010 13:48 UK
Meeting Pope Benedict XVI was a 'simply amazing' moment
Paschal Uche meets with Pope Benedict XVI at Westminster Cathedral
Paschal was 'lost for words' when he greeted Pope Benedict XVI

A young Catholic who addressed Pope Benedict XVI at Westminster Cathedral has been recalling his 'magical day'.

Paschal Uche, 21, from Saint Francis of Assisi's Church in Stratford in the Brentwood diocese welcomed the Pope on behalf of Britain's young Catholics.

His speech on the Cathedral steps was seen by millions around the world.

"It was simply amazing, a magical day and thank God everything went well and I was able to deliver the speech without messing up," he told BBC Essex.

"I hope I was just able to reflect what all the young people would have liked to have said, had they been in that position."

Paschal was chosen from thousands of young Catholics who travelled to London to see the Pope celebrate mass on Saturday, 18 September, to make the address.

His two-and-a-half minute speech took place on the Cathedral steps, after Pope Benedict had taken mass.

Despite the occasion, Paschal said he was not nervous.

"The mass was brilliant and so I was really taken away by that so I didn't really think too much about the speech," he said.

"As the days got closer, as certain events started to take place it just dawned on me a little more how massive this event is and how much this means for us as Catholics.

"As I was coming out I was thinking 'wow, this is the time where potentially I could get nervous' but after receiving communion I thought 'if this is Christ I've just received what can I not do'.

"So I came out and thought 'I'm going to do my bit and let God do the rest."

After addressing Pope Benedict XVI, Paschal had the opportunity to talk briefly with him.

"He really was a warm and gentle man," he said.

"I guess from a distance he may look quiet, but as I came up to him he said 'well done' and we had a nice handshake. I was a bit lost for words as you can imagine.

Pope Benedict XVI with representatives of young Catholics on the steps
Paschal was one of 130 young Catholics to meet the Pope

"I asked him to give me a blessing and then afterwards, when we were taking a picture, I was telling him a little bit about myself and what I'd like to do in the future and he said 'I'll pray for you.'

"It was just an amazing moment."

Paschal, who is an active member of the Brentwood Catholic Youth Service, said the occasion had strengthened his faith further.

"My faith has always been a steady part of who I am," he said.

"But along the journey of faith I guess there are gems that make you realise what a massive family that you're part of and this really did that for me."


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