Jason Mackiewicz’≈°√É‚Äû’¬†&’≈°√É‚Äû’¬†Andrew Moraes
Planning in our archdiocese for World Youth Day (WYD) in Sydney’≈°√É‚Äû’¬†2008 has begun!’≈°√É‚Äû’¬†In the middle of last month the Archdiocesan Planning Committee met for the first time.
This group of people, a collaboration of laity, religious and clergy, with administrative, business, and youth ministry skills, will form the coordinating body for the journey to come. Our goal? To help as many in our archdiocese as possible experience WYD whether they are hosts of the Days in the Diocese (DiD) or pilgrims to Sydney.
Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney gave us some idea at the end of last month of the events that will take place in Sydney – an anticipated 200 000 people will be there during the week of WYD08, and 500 000 at the final Mass.
‘≈°√É‚Äû’¬†But what will this mean for us? Bishop Fisher has an inspiring answer to offer: WYD is not just something that young people do. It involves the whole church. As a church we will be encouraging our youth and young adults to consider this journey, helping with fundraising and prayer,’≈°√É‚Äû’¬†seeing them off and welcoming them back into the community.
‘≈°√É‚Äû’¬†But even more than that, as New Zealand will be co-hosting the Days in the Diocese, we will all, younger and older, become hosts to young people from around the world. The tradition of welcoming’≈°√É‚Äû’¬†those who would be strangers into our homes and our lives is a cornerstone of pilgrimage, and an opportunity for growth that we all want to make the most of! It’s our chance to explore what faith life is together, to share the uniqueness of New Zealand’s landscape, history and cultures, and to experience something of the international church in our own homes.
‘≈°√É‚Äû’¬†We think it is with good reason that, in years between international WYD events, the occasion is still celebrated on Palm Sunday. The experience ignites a passion that overflows so that the ‘God’ and ‘faith’ issues are okay to talk about in the street, and we stand like those who lined the streets of Jerusalem 2 000 years ago, recognising and rejoicing in the fact that God is indeed with us.
The fruits of’≈°√É‚Äû’¬†the international’≈°√É‚Äû’¬†celebrations of’≈°√É‚Äû’¬†World Youth Day are undeniable. We would like to see every young person in our diocese seriously consider making the journey to Sydney in 2008. We are also committed to offering the whole church in Wellington the opportunity to gain from, and give to, this event, so please consider what sort of involvement you will have in WYD 08. Our work starts now. Please pray for us.