Thursday, 2 April 2009

World Youth Day Organizers Meet in Rome

Gathering Culminates In Palm Sunday Papal Mass
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 31, 2009 ( Sydney youth day organizers will gather with their Madrid successors, along with worldwide youth ministers, in order to evaluate and plan for the 2011 World Youth Day.A press release from the Pontifical Council for the Laity reported today that a three-day international gathering of World Youth Day organizers will begin on Friday in preparation for the event in Madrid.

The meeting will include youth ministry leaders from around the world, delegates from 70 countries, and representatives from 35 international Catholic communities, associations and movements, gathering for the first time in preparation of the 2011 youth day.Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, will open the gathering on Friday. The organizational leaders of the Sydney event in 2008 will participate in an evaluation the fruits of World Youth Day in their country, with talks by Cardinal George Pell and Bishop Anthony Fisher, archbishop and auxiliary of Sydney. Father Eric Jacquinet, head of the council's youth section, will lead an evaluation on the impact of the event on the local diocese as well as an exploration of how this event can inspire ordinary youth ministry.Toward MadridThe second day of the gathering will focus on the theme "Toward Madrid 2011," and will begin with an analysis of the Church in Spain by the archbishop an auxiliary bishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela and Bishop César Franco Martínez.

Spanish youth will give testimonies, the organizing committee will share challenges and expectations for the event, and initial information will be given about planning.Bishop Josef Clemens, the council's secretary, will present Benedict XVI's message for the 2009 World Youth Day. The estimated 150 participants will attend Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square, presided by the Pope, as part of the celebration of the 24th World Youth Day.

The Mass will include the "traditional handover" of the youth day cross from the Australian to the Spanish young people, the council reported, a "significant and emotional moment that signals in a tangible way the 'passing of the baton' among the youth of the world.The report concluded, "Once again it places before us as a point of reference the stark reality of the Cross, the hope that springs from the Resurrection."

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