OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - “Open your hearts and doors to the young pilgrims!”, says Bishop Anthony Fisher, Coordinator for 2008 World Youth Day in Sydney

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - This time next year Sydney will host the 23 World Youth Day. The opening concelebration of Mass will be presided by Cardinal George Pell, and concelebrated by bishops and priests from various parts of the world on 15 July 2008. The organisers expect about 500,000 young people to gather in Sydney for this majo Catholic Church event to which everyone is invited. As usual on these events the young visitors will be hosted in schools and parishes and local families. The organisers are busy finding families willing to invite one or two of young visitors to share life with them. This sharing is one very important aspect of World Youth Day.
A call has been made by Bishop Anthony Fisher, WYD general coordinator to: “open hearts and doors to the pilgrims!”. In the programme called HomeStay he explains: “Many pilgrims will be accommodated in schools, parishes. However many will stay with local families and this will be an unforgettable experience of spiritual and cultural exchange. The people of Sydney are generous and we are sure they will gladly open the doors of their homes”.
HomeStay will involve Catholic and non Catholic families to demonstrate Australia's proverbial hospitality and friendliness: HomeStay programme offers the people of Sydney a chance to play an important part in this historic event.
In the meantime, after being warmly welcomed to the diocese Broken Bay, the WYD Day Cross and Icon is now in the diocese of Paramatta, where it is being accompanied by an unusual bicycle parade through the streets of the city. “This pilgrimage is a sign of faith, justice, solidarity with young Christians from all over the world”, said Bishop Kevin Manning of Paramatta. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 18/7/2007 righe 26 parole 265)