Sunday was a particularly exciting day for the 80 people who met in the Catholic Centre cafeteria. Why were they there? To hear more about the very exciting World Youth Day 2008. Hanton (the World Youth Day fanatic who brings you these enchanting updates) was there with bells on!
The purpose of the hui was to gather together to listen, learn and discuss the reality of World Youth Day for the people of our archdiocese. It was also a forum in which to ask any and many questions. Those present saw the official World Youth Day promotional DVD made in Australia followed by presentations by members of the archdiocesan World Youth Day committee on pilgrimage and days in the diocese.
Here are some of the questions that were discussed ~ Hanton thought this might be beneficial for those poor souls who were unable to be present at the hui.
Q) How many pilgrims are expected to go over from New Zealand?
A) We hope at least 1500 people between the ages of 16 and 35 will be able to get to Sydney in July 2008. Pilgrims will fundraise and prepare in their diocese and will meet up in Australia as a national group.
Q) Is Wellington going to be hosting international pilgrims on their way to Sydney?
A) Yes! New Zealand has officially been asked to help host pilgrims as part of the days in the diocese experience. This means we may have pilgrims from all over the world staying in our homes, parishes and schools for about four days in early July 2008. This is a chance for us to share what is unique about our part of the world.
Q) What can we do to get ready now?
A) Check out the official website for World Youth Day 2008 at www.wyd2008.org and sign up for e-pilgrimage. Fill out a pre registration form at www.worldyouthday.org.nz and start some discussions at a parish level. Talk to others who might be interested, talk to your parish council or pastoral area and start brainstorming fundraising / budget ideas. It’s not too early to start preparing for this great pilgrimage.
A highlight of the hui was a brief encounter with a red pilgrim-friendly dragon who reminded those present of the importance of hospitality. Ideas were shared about how we as hosts want to be remembered by visiting pilgrims. If you have any ideas, let the archdiocesan World Youth Day Committee know at www.wn.catholic.org.nz/worldyouthday. Things are looking very good.