Plenary Meeting 2000: World Youth Day 2002 on the Agenda for all Canadian Dioceses

Thursday, October 12 2000
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(CCCB – Cornwall) Canadian bishops spent their time examining youth matters and youth ministry during day two of their annual Plenary meeting in preparation for World Youth Day 2002 which will be held in Toronto July 23-28, 2002.

The bishops first heard from Alain Giguère, president of the CROP polling firm, who described the values held by young Canadians between the ages of 15 and 24 as very individualistic and non-conformist. While young people are very attached to materialism and the search for personal pleasure, they also seek a full life based on friendship, large gatherings and intense feelings.

Bishop Michel Dubost, CJM, from Évry, France who was in charge of World Youth Day in Paris in 1997, spoke of the impact the event had on youth. Before WYD 1997, young people in France were so disinterested in the Catholic Church, he joked, that there were often more pastoral youth workers than young people. He continued that while World Youth Day didn’t solve the problem of youth participation, it marked a new beginning for youth ministry. It allowed young people to recognize and reclaim their Catholic roots.

Later, Bishop Paul-André Durocher, Auxiliary Bishop of Sault Sainte-Marie, outlined a multi-dimensional approach to youth ministry that involves both reflection and action in Christian communities. Bishop Anthony Meagher, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto, and Bishop François Lapierre of Saint-Hyacinthe, both members of the WYD 2002 Episcopal Committee, told the Plenary meeting of the importance of beginning preparations now for WYD 2002.

The dioceses, in the five days preceding the Toronto gathering, will host hundreds of thousands of young people from around the globe, where they will experience Canadian culture, family life and local faith communities.

Finally, Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, National Director for WYD 2002,presented part of his team to the bishops. He also outlined the work accomplished so far in preparing for the event, being done in collaboration with the three levels of government, the Archdiocese of Toronto, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Pontifical Council for the Laity. He emphasized that while the final five days of WYD 2002 will conclude in Toronto, the event is really a national project and that all dioceses have a major role to play in welcoming the world to their communities. He reassured the bishops that members of the WYD 2002 team were already planning how to assist the dioceses in hosting the large numbers of young Catholics who will be visiting from around the world.


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Deacon William Kokesch
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Last Updated on Tuesday, August 08 2006