Across Australia, dioceses, schools, communities and movements are celebrating “12 months out” from World Youth Day (WYD). World Youth Day (WYD) will be celebrated in Madrid next August with an anticipated 2.1 million pilgrims participating.
Australia is expected to send up to 5,000 pilgrims to Spain for this celebration, many of them young people who were inspired by Sydney’s 2008 WYD.
A variety of “one year out” events already have taken place around Australia, including a huge schools gathering in Sydney yesterday at Holy Cross College Ryde. 600 students and teachers from across the Archdiocese took part in the event organised by Anthony Gordon, Archdiocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator, Sydney Catholic Education Office.
“Today was a celebration of the WYD and a lively celebration of Spanish culture. We had a Flamenco dancers and guitarist and we served a Spanish-flavoured lunch with a traditional Santiago pilgrimage cake.”
“A short Spanish lesson was conducted by Rita Halloun and Ryan Acosta and Spanish chaplain, Fr Jose Maria Enedaguila SJ welcomed the gathering on behalf of the city of Madrid. It was wonderful to have Cardinal Pell lead our preparation for Madrid 2011 with a mass beautifully accompanied by Gary Pinto and his band”, said Anthony.
Rachelle Smith is organising a similar event in Tasmania which will take place this evening.
“Tonight the Archdiocese of Hobart will hold a Spanish-themed evening of Tapas, Music and Spanish dress! Tomorrow, young Tasmanians will continue the celebrations, at state-wide event, VIVA, showcasing the energy and spirit of our Australian Church.”
“Bishop Tim Costelloe (Archdiocese of Melbourne) will make a special visit to the event to share his thoughts on where the Spirit is in our Church and where the Spirit is leading us. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in workshops run by a variety groups within the Archdiocese,” said Rachelle.
Bishops Conference delegate for youth Bishop Joe Grech will be attending World Youth Day and attests to the powerful renewal of faith it can provide.
“World Youth Day is one of the greatest opportunities we have as a Catholic Church to evangelise young people. This event truly demonstrates the global Church, and shows how Jesus Christ unites us all in his love”, said Bishop Joe.
Preparations, planning and fundraising is well underway by over 60 pilgrimage groups including groups from the Archdiocese of Brisbane, the Diocese of Townsville and the Archdiocese of Perth who are working to develop their full itineraries with Harvest Tours.
The ACBC Pilgrimage Project can be found at www.wyd.org.au