Bishop Fisher unveils WYD plan

Describing World Youth Day as "an extraordinary gift to the Church in Australia, coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher has announced the launch of "Activ8", a two year program of preparation for WYD 2008.

According to The Westender, Activ8 is a program of events, activities and materials to prepare young people across Australia for the event in July 2008 in which organisers are expecting to attract half a million participants, including over 100,000 international visitors.

Benedict XVI will make his first visit to Australia for World Youth Day 2008 (WYD), presiding over the Final Mass.

Organisers say Activ8 is intended to inform and engage Catholic youth around the country, encouraging them to be a part of WYD08. The program involves an online ePILGRIMAGE newsletter, a promotional DVD, parish support programs, school curriculum materials, youth leadership courses and events and activities at key milestones up to 15 July 2008 - the official start of WYD.

The name "Activ8" refers to the scriptural reference chosen by Benedict XVI for the World Youth 2008 theme - Acts 1:8 "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses" as well as a call to action in the word "activate."

"We are going to fulfil the promise of this gift [the WYD] by ensuring over the next two years our young people are given every opportunity to prepare and be engaged with their religion through our parishes, youth groups, schools and homes," Bishop Fisher said.

He said a priority in the planning and preparation for WYD in Sydney was the delivery of a broad and engaging program of communication, education and participation to ensure Catholic youth from all over Australia were invited and able to participate.

The first Activ8 materials are being distributed around the country this week in the form of an introductory booklet and promotional DVD titled "get with the spirit" issued to parishes, schools and available online.

Meanwhile, Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart has announced the formation of the "Melbourne Participation Committee" to begin preparation for WYD.

Kairos reports that the committee, which has very broad representation, will oversee the arrangements for the "Days in the Diocese" in Melbourne. The other tasks include preparation of youth in the Melbourne Archdiocese for the event and to prepare a post-WYD pastoral program for pilgrims on their return to Melbourne.

World Youth Day was instigated by Pope John Paul II in 1986. It has been held annually since then in Rome and local dioceses, and every 2-3 years a major international celebration is staged in a different host city. Sydney was named the next international host city at the World Youth Day Closing Mass in Cologne, Germany in 2005.

World Youth Day 2008 starts national youth preparation programme (WYD08 7/7/06)
"Two Years To Go" - Australia's Catholic community prepares for World Youth Day 2008 (The Westender 7/7/06)
Countdown to WYD08 (Kairos 9/7/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
World Youth Day 2008

More details on Australia's World Youth Day 2008 (CathNews 29/8/05)

10 Jul 2006