Study learns from Cologne WYD participants

Religious education academic, Dr Richard Rymarz, has looked into the impact of World Youth Day with a 12 month follow-up of Under 18 Australian participants in the 2005 event in Cologne, Germany.

Dr Rymarz conducted a series of interviews asking what Pope John Paul II's "New Evangelisation" means to today's Catholics, and what impact WYD has had on pilgrims.

His conclusions have been published in the latest issue of the quarterly scholarly journal the Australasian Catholic Record.

"The strongest category to emerge is the change that the pilgrims perceived in themselves after attending WYD," Dr Rymarz said.

"They spoke of this in terms of a greater personal commitment to their religion, whereas in the past it was something that they associated with at a more external level, often as an aspect of the family culture they had grown up in," he said.

Dr Rymarz found while most spoke of this greater level of commitment to their religion, a number of participants interviewed had trouble making the leap from the WYD experience to an active faith life upon their return.

"The study has revealed some strong indications that WYD does have an impact on pilgrims who attend. A critical question, however, is will this impact still be evident over a longer period of time?"

Australasian Catholic Record focuses on WYD and how to evangelise our times (Australasian Catholic Record 23/11/07)

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

Vatican delegation arrive for WYD (CathNews, 16/10/07)
WYD registrations exceeding expectations (CathNews, 04/09/07)

27 Nov 2007