For the first time World Youth Day will be held in the southern hemisphere in 2008.
Pope Benedict XVI told the tens of thousands of young people gathered in Cologne for World Youth Day last month that he would travel to Sydney to meet the world’s young people in 2008.
This brought jubilation from the team which put together Sydney’s bid for the big event. Sydney’s Cardinal George Pell said it was a great privilege to have World Youth Day entrusted to the Church in Australia.
‘World Youth Day is about bringing the face of Jesus Christ and the reality of God’s love to the youth of the world. I hope that many young people from Australia and overseas will come and deepen their faith through the experience of World Youth Day in Sydney.’
There have been 20 World Youth Days, nine of which have been international, and they have become the world’s largest gathering of young people.
Sydney’s will be the 10th international WYD and the first in Oceania.
Meanwhile, New Zealand volunteer for the WYD Cologne team, Jason Mackiewicz, was among those who lunched with the pope at the end of the event last month.
A condensed version of Pope Benedict’s homily to the World Youth Day Mass is printed on page 5.