The countdown is on for World Youth Day 2000, which will be held in Rome from 15-20 August.
    It is estimated that some one million youth will come to Rome to celebrate their Jubilee with John Paul II.
    At present, some 200 Italian youths are carrying the cross of the World Youth Days to different towns and cities in the country.
    Preparations for the event are well underway. Many Italian dioceses, in some instances with the help of city and regional governments, will welcome half a million youths in schools, barracks, and camping tents. Of the total number expected, some 600,000 will come from abroad.
    Participants will meet leaders and witnesses of the Church in the world. There will be artistic performances, concerts, prayer vigils, and reconciliation. On the morning of 19 August, the pilgrims will meet the Pope in a field at Tor Vergata, a field on the outskirts of Rome, because St Peter's Square will not accommodate the anticipated numbers.
20 July 00

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