Final Preparations for World Youth Day

Friday, May 10 2002

(CCCB – Ottawa) – In less than three months, Pope John Paul II will begin his third visit to Canada to celebrate World Youth Day in Toronto from July 23-28 with hundreds of thousands of young people from around the world.

Representatives of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and the Organizing Committee for World Youth Day 2002 will be in Rome early next week to meet with Cardinal James Stafford of the Pontifical Council of the Laity and some of his senior staff to discuss plans for WYD 2002.

It is this Council that has the responsibility of all World Youth Days around the world which began at the request of Pope John Paul II in 1985. They are held in different cities around the world every two years to allow young people to gather together to celebrate their faith in Jesus Christ and their lives as Catholics.

Bishop Jacques Berthelet, C.S.V., of Saint-Jean-Longueuil and President of the CCCB, is heading the Canadian delegation that includes Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic of Toronto, Archbishop-elect Anthony Meagher of Kingston and President of the Episcopal Council for WYD, Archbishop Thomas Collins of Edmonton, and Father Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., National Director for WYD 2002. Several members of the WYD National Office will also be on hand.

The Canadian delegation will enthusiastically tell Church officials in Rome of the many projects and initiatives surrounding World Youth Day in Canada. For example, in the Archdiocese of Montreal a major promotional campaign will feature radio commercials, billboards and short video messages in movie theatres.

World Youth Day will provide a unique opportunity for young people from 150 countries to gather together to celebrate their faith, share their hopes for the future, and to rejoice with music and drama. Young people from 16 to 35 may register for the event by going to the World Youth Day web site or by contacting the WYD coordinator in their diocese.

WYD 2002, which will be held in Toronto July 23-28, will be preceded by the Days in the Dioceses July 18-21. Many of the dioceses across Canada will be hosting pilgrims from around the world as they make their way across to Toronto. July 22 has been set aside as a day for traveling.