2 August 2011
Catholic Youth Care countdown to World Youth Day
Excitement is growing in Catholic Youth Care (CYC) as preparations are currently underway for the up coming World Youth Day celebrations taking place from the 16th to the 21st of August. Over 150 pilgrims from 35 parishes across the Archdiocese of Dublin will be attending this year’s WYD celebrations being held in Madrid. The theme chosen by Pope Benedict for 2011 is “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith.” (cf Col 2:7)
World Youth Day is a week-long celebration attracting hundreds of thousands of young people from countries around the world, who gather together to celebrate and learn about their Catholic faith. Catholic Youth Care has been preparing for the WYD celebrations for a number of months and has been meeting regularly with pilgrims in 2011. The agency has also been asked to coordinate the English catechesis sessions.
WYD begins with a series of catechesis sessions which run over the first three days. A catechesis session allows pilgrims to learn, discuss and often debate their faith and consists of Morning Prayer, an address by one of the many Bishops taking part from across the world, question time and then mass. Pilgrims are then free to take part in the many activities which are being held as part of the Cultural Program. The program includes concerts, exhibits, guided museum visits, plays and much more.
The highlight of World Youth Day is a “giant celebration” comprising of a prayer vigil and a closing mass with Pope Benedict. This will take place at Cuarto Vientos Airport, Madrid on August 20th and 21st, an air base whose length is equivalent to 48 football fields, with the capacity to host the one million pilgrims who are expected to attend the events.
Anna Keegan, Evangelisation Officer with Catholic Youth Care said, “This is my third World Youth Day and it really is an unforgettable experience. World Youth Day is a great celebration of faith and an opportunity to be present while Pope Benedict directly addresses young members of the Catholic Church about the Church’s teachings and encourages us to live the faith in our daily lives. It also gives us a chance to forge new friendships with young like minded people from all corners of the world.”
Anna Keegan added, “Once a young person takes the decision to make the pilgrimage to World Youth Day, there is a lot of preparation involved. We in Catholic Youth Care have been meeting with our pilgrims once a month since January. These meetings consist of three workshops and finish with a mass. We find that these are very effective in preparing a young person spiritually for the journey ahead. It also enables them to meet with the other young pilgrims attending World Youth Day from across the 35 parishes in Dublin.”
World Youth Day was initiated by John Paul ll in 1985 as a way to inspire the youth of the world and to encourage them in living the teachings of Jesus. It shows the diversity and universality of the Church as young people gather from many nations and countries around the globe to celebrate their faith together. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta is the Patron Saint of World Youth Day. Following his beatification, World Youth Day founder Pope John Paul ll has become its co patron.
Notes to Editors
- Catholic Youth Care (CYC) is a leading provider of youth services in the Archdiocese of Dublin. They provide direct youth work services and support for voluntary youth work in Dublin, Wicklow and parts of Kildare. Catholic Youth Care’s mission is to promote a youth work response that is caring, compassionate and Christian that enables young people to participate more fully in the life of society and Church.
For further information
Carol Faulkner, Communications Office, Archdiocese of Dublin 01 8360723/087617297