30th Anniversary of "We Are One Body"
We Are One Body (Available as Sheet Music and Single MP3 Download) is a song written by Dana as the official theme for World Youth Day 1993 in Denver, Colorado. Dana performed the song for Pope Saint John Paul II and 100,000 people in Mile High Stadium.
Here are Dana's memories of that day:
It was a very challenging road to Denver, and I truly thought I’d be lucky to even see the Pope there, never mind sing before him. I was waiting at the side of the stage area when his helicopter flew overhead. The pilot later said that the cheers from the crowd caused such air turbulence that it reminded him of flying under fire in Vietnam.
My choir of teenagers was from Birmingham, Alabama. They were also waiting at the side of the stage. One of them was a beautiful young girl in a wheelchair. As soon as the Holy Father saw her, he immediately made his way over to her and blessed her, along with the other young people in the choir. They were all in tears.
When my name was called from the stage, I walked out to a breathtaking view of almost 100,000 jubilant faces before me. Colorful flags and banners from every diocese in the U.S. and every country in the world seemed to dance in the air throughout the stadium. I took a deep breath and began to sing We Are One Body.
Nothing could have prepared me for the incredible reaction when we all finished singing the last line of the song, hands clasped and arms raised in the air, “We are one body, one Body in Christ. And he came that we might have life.” There was a moment of silence; then the stadium erupted with prolonged applause and cheers. I think I was in shock. Suddenly, I felt a tap on my shoulder, and as I looked up, a priest said, “Follow me. The Holy Father would like to meet you.”
Then I really was in shock, for I’d been told I definitely wouldn’t meet the Pope. I followed the priest up the stairs of the podium behind me, but when I got a few steps from the Holy Father himself, I couldn’t move at all, as tears ran down my face. The Pope stretched out his arms to me, and the next moment my head was on his shoulder. He kissed the top of my head and thanked me for my song.
It’s a moment I’ll never forget, and it was a moment that millions shared with me in a personal way, for so many people have told me that when the Pope put his arms around me, they felt as though he had put his arms around them, too.
Letter from Archbishop Aquila of the Archdiocese of Denver