WYD delegates ready to depart for Rome

Some 60 youth delegates from across Australia, representing every Catholic diocese, gathered this week in Sydney in preparation for the start of Sydney's role as host of World Youth Day 2008.

The delegates are preparing for their role in Rome, which will include participating in a Mass celebrated by Benedict XVI and officially receiving the World Youth Cross and Icon from representatives of last year's host city of Cologne, Germany, at the Palm Sunday Mass in St Peter's Square.

Before reaching Australia, the Cross will undertake a long journey through Africa, Oceania, and on to Australia. It will arrive in Sydney in July 2008.

Meanwhile the first international meeting of leaders and organisers of the World Youth Days will be held at Sassone Di Ciampino near Rome from 7-9 April.

The meeting, organised 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 in Cologne, analysing its results on his archdiocese and on youth pastoral care throughout Germany, as well as organisational and logistical challenges.

The next day, Sydney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell will speak on the challenges and expectations of the Australian Church with a view to WYD 2008.

World Youth Day is the world's largest youth event. Sydney organisers are expecting 500,000 people (including 135,000 international visitors) for the 2008 gathering.

The NSW Premier Morris Iemma announced this week he will join the Australian youth delegates at the invitation of Cardinal George Pell in Rome for the ceremonies.

World Youth Day delegates from across Australia depart for Rome and Palm Sunday Mass with the Pope (World Youth Day 2008 5/4/06)
Meeting of World Youth Day leaders (Vatican Information Service 5/4/06 - temporary url)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
WYD2008 Rome Delegates by State
World Youth Day 2008

NSW Premier to attend WYD handover in Rome (CathNews 3/4/06)
NSW Premier's invite to Rome for WYD event (CathNews 20/3/06)
Bishop outlines World Youth Day progress (CathNews 13/3/06)
Winning design for World Youth Day (CathNews 24/2/06)
Pope tells theologian he's coming to Australia (CathNews 22/12/05)

Local community to celebrate as Vatican hands World Youth Day cross to Sydney (World Youth Day 2008 5/4/06)
Past, future World Youth Day leaders gather for first international meeting (Catholic News Agency 5/4/06)
Pope to participate in Thursday-evening WYD session (Catholic World News 5/4/06)
World Youth Day in Sydney 2008 an injection of spiritual values (Fides 4/4/06)
Youth ministers gather to plan WYD observances (Catholic World News 4/4/06)

6 Apr 2006