Young Christians helping WYD pilgrims get piece of action

The Young Christian Students and Workers movements are launching a new preparation resource for Australian pilgrims to next year's World Youth Day which aims to link faith and action.

According to a statement, the youth groups' WYD coordinator, Chantelle Ogilvie, says that the publication, On Fertile Ground: Preparation and Formation Towards WYD08, contains practical ideas and activities to help parishes, dioceses and schools gather and prepare young people for next year's event in Sydney.

"WYD is an important moment in the life of the Australian Church, but it has the potential to be much more than just one moment," says Ms Ogilvie, who represented young Australians when she carried the WYD Cross across the Sydney Harbour Bridge early this month.

"The purpose of these resources is to assist Australians to make World Youth Day a real experience of formation that translates into ongoing faith and action in young people's lives and communities."

Also part of the YCS and YCW program for WYD is a series of events across Australia as part of the Journey of the World Youth Day Cross and Icon, including this Saturday's event in Parramatta Diocese, called "Rise Up: Called by the Cross to Action."

The publication has been endorsed by the bishops' Commission for Pastoral Life.

WYD's "showpiece" will be stationary

Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that the stations of the cross "showpiece" at the WYD event next year will be stationary, as organisers ground pilgrims to avoid prayer-driven gridlock in the heart of Sydney on a busy Friday afternoon.

Having already suffered through the arrival of the Pope, roads are to be closed in Sydney's centre on Friday, 18 July, as the city is transformed into one big cathedral for a vast re-enactment of the Passion of Christ.

There are 14 stations of the cross, so - a day before the Harbour Bridge is expected to be closed for a pilgrims walk - 14 city sites will host re-enactments of scenes from the hours before the crucifixion of Jesus.

A spokesman, Jim Hanna, said organisers would keep disruption to a minimum by encouraging worshippers to stay at one station rather than praying at each, as is the custom.

"We are going to make it as attractive as possible for people to stay where they are," Mr Hanna said. One possibility was erecting big screens to allow people to see what was happening at the other stations. "It's a great way to show off Sydney," he added.

Photo: Chantelle Ogilvie carrying the WYD Cross

YCS & WCW launch WYD resource connecting faith and action (YCS/YCW, 18/7/07)
Prayers at a standstill: youth day worshippers will have to choose a station (Sydney Morning Herald, 19/7/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Young Christian Workers Movement
Australian Young Christian Students Movement
International Young Catholic Students
World Youth Day 2008

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19 Jul 2007