Reaching Out to Young People

More than 4,000 young Catholics from across Canada were in Rome in August for World Youth Days 2000. The Canadian presence, estimated at more than double that of  Paris for WYD 1997, illustrates the keen interest and desire of our youth to celebrate their faith in such world events.

The hundreds of thousands of young people from around the world who gathered in Rome testify to the confidence Pope John Paul II placed in youth when he launched the first World Youth Days in 1985.  Since then, millions of young people from all corners of the globe have participated joyfully in these major demonstrations of Catholic faith.

The huge crowds, from almost every race, culture and language in the world, celebrated their unity by their prayer and praise and in their joyful witness to Jesus Christ, who was born 2000 years ago.

The Bishops of Canada, aware of the positive impact such a major event can have on young people, two years ago agreed to begin the process of inviting World Youth Days 2002 to Canada and what is hoped will be more than a half-million young visitors from around the world.  A WYD 2002 organizing committee, has already been set up in Toronto.