Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 8, 2002
Days in the Diocese
Focus has shifted to preparing local youth for World Youth Day
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Contrary to earlier reports, Edmonton Archdiocese will not be swarming with foreign visitors during the Days in the Diocese, July 18-22.
The archdiocese now does not expect more than 200 youth from other countries. Last year the Youth Commission anticipated that 1,000 to 1,500 young people would visit Edmonton during the four-day prelude to World Youth Day in Toronto.
The reduction is due to the changed world situation after the terrorist attacks of last Sept. 11.
However, Andrew Papenbrock of the Youth Commission, told the WCR the committee preparing for the event will create a festive atmosphere for the youth of the archdiocese.
“We will celebrate the fact that many of our young people are going to Toronto and this will be a time of commissioning and blessing before they depart,” Papenbrock said.
Archbishop Thomas Collins will preside at a commissioning Mass on the grounds of the Catholic Pastoral Centre July 18.
Banking on the experience of the visit of the WYD Pilgrim Cross in November, the Youth Commission is encouraging participation from various youth groups.
Families of delegates to WYD, other youth who will not go to Toronto and other people of the archdiocese are encouraged to participate in the July 18 Mass.
An evening of entertainment will go on as planned.
“Our program will remain the same but our focus will be different from the previous plan,” Papenbrock said.
Rather than making it mainly for international visitors, it will be inclusive of them, he added.
Visiting youth from other countries will be billeted in the homes of parishioners who volunteer while some will stay with the houses of religious congregations.
A group of about 150 Providence Sisters, who will be holding a major meeting of their congregation, is expected to participated in the Days in the Diocese. Other religious orders will bring people to the event.
“What we really want to see though is how our diocese does WYD,” Papenbrock stressed.
Activities in different parishes spearheaded by the local youth groups are expected.
Our Lady of the Victory Camp is planning to do its share of celebrating and will invite young people from Evergreen, Rocky Mountain House, Red Deer and Olds.
Some parishes along 118th Avenue have united to put on activities that will usher their delegates and other youths to WYD.
"We will celebrate the fact that many of our young people are going to Toronto."
- Andrew Papenbrock
“Location wise, it will be a good opportunity for other youth to experience a little bit about our faith before they go to the Klondike Days,” Papenbrock said.
An evening of adoration, veneration and Masses is expected to take place in different sites in Edmonton.
“We hope that the Days in the Diocese becomes an opportunity for the (young) people to be with each other before they go to Toronto.”
Visiting pilgrims will be able to tour sites like Father Lacombe Chapel in St. Albert, St. Joseph’s Basilica, Fort Edmonton Park and West Edmonton Mall.
Papenbrock said all three levels of government have shown their support by sponsoring some activities.
On July 21, visiting pilgrims and archdiocesan youth will join the annual Lac Ste. Anne Pilgrimage.
After Mass with the archbishop, they will witness the blessing of the lake and have the opportunity to participate in a healing celebration.
It will be an opportunity for visiting youth to learn about native spirituality in Western Canada.
A central location for everyone to meet, refresh themselves and spend time with one another is being set up by the Youth Commission.
At this location, foreign youth can have access to email, Internet, phone, snacks, and other amenities.
The committee for the Days in the Diocese has heavy involvement from the youth.
Sheryl Tucker, 17, of St. Albert Parish is a member of the group organizing the Days in the Diocese.
“I have never done this before and it’s very interesting to meet with other youth and work with them,” Sheryl told the WCR.
Sheryl’s mother Joan is coordinating the parish’s group that will go to Toronto.
“I am pretty excited about WYD and seeing the pope for the first time,” Sheryl said.