VATICAN CITY, APR 5, 2006 (VIS) – The first international meeting of leaders and organizers of World Youth Days will be held at Sassone Di Ciampino near Rome from April 7 to 9.
According to a communique made public yesterday afternoon, the meeting, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, will be attended by delegates from 85 countries and by representatives from 45 communities, associations and Catholic youth movements.
On the first day, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany, will consider last August’s WYD, which was held in Cologne, analyzing its results on his archdiocese and on youth pastoral care throughout Germany, as well as organizational and logistical challenges.
The next day, Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia, will speak on the challenges and expectations of the Australian Church with a view to World Youth Day 2008, due to be held in Sydney.
On April 9, Palm Sunday and 21st World Youth Day, the delegates and representatives will participate in the Mass celebrated by Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square. At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, a group of young people from Germany will hand over the WYD Cross to a group of young Australians.
Before reaching Australia, the Cross will undertake a long journey, beginning on April 10 when it will travel from Rome to Dakar, Senegal where it will remain over Easter. It will subsequently be taken to over 20 African countries, concluding its travels on that continent in February 2007.
From February 2007, the communique concludes, the Cross will begin another journey taking it to many Pacific Ocean islands, before arriving in Sydney for World Youth Day in July 2008.
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