Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 11, 2008
Three hundred archdiocese youth bound for WYD
Parish youth groups put on imaginative events to fly to Australia
By ALICIA AMBROSIO
“There are new young people being drawn into the faith journey.”
- Andrew Papenbrock
The group from Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sherwood Park set up a picture of Canada and a picture of Australia in their hall and sold footprints that they then put up on the wall to connect the two pictures. Their idea has caught on and several other groups will be attempting to sell footprints in the near future.
While some groups have struggled with their fundraising, others didn’t have much difficulty raising the necessary funds. The pilgrims from St. Dominic Savio Parish reached their goal but felt there was still more they could do.
Some of the young people from St. Dominic Savio attended WYD 2006 in Cologne, Germany, where they met several priests from India. They learned that the parishes in India did not have enough resources to send groups of pilgrims. Instead they planned to send a priest to represent the entire congregation at WYD.
When the St. Dominic Savio group finished its fundraising, it decided to raise more money to pay for a pilgrim from India to attend the event in Sydney.
With the help of a Salesian priest from India who visited the parish last summer, the pilgrims from St. Dominic Savio will sponsor a young man named Robi Mondol from Calcutta. Mondol is a 22-year-old university student. He is described as a permanent fixture at Monsada Parish, his home parish, and shows “much promise of continued leadership,” said Father Jude, youth coordinator for the Indian province of the Salesians.
The pilgrim groups from Edmonton will leave for Sydney in early July. One group will stop in Fiji to do missionary work before heading on to Australia. Another Edmonton group will go straight to Sydney ahead of time to help the Youth Mission Team prepare parishes for the onslaught of youth from around the world.
Several groups will spend time in Brisbane to prepare for the main event. Archbishop Richard Smith will be in Brisbane with those groups.
World Youth Day was an initiative of Pope John Paul II, who was inspired by massive gatherings of young people in Rome celebrating the youth jubilee in 1984 and the United Nations International Year of Youth in 1985. He wanted to bring together young Catholics from around the globe to celebrate and learn about their faith on a more regular basis.
Every two to three years, a massive international gathering celebrates WYD in a different host city: Cologne, Buenos Aires, Czestochowa, Paris, Toronto, Manila and Denver have all been hosts.
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