OCEANIA/FIJI ISLANDS - The extraordinary WYD experience for the youth of Fiji: “A tsunami of faith and joy!”
Suva (Agenzia Fides) – “It has been a tsunami of faith and joy.” This has been the most common reaction among the youth of the Fiji Islands when they returned to their homeland after the extraordinary experience of World Youth Day in Sydney. It is an experience that the youth are called to transmit to their local Church, especially to their peers, in order to be protagonists in evangelizing and witnessing to the power of the Holy Spirit they received at WYD.
The 596 (a fairly large number, considering the size of the Pacific island) youth pilgrims from Fiji who attended WYD in Sydney were hosted mainly by Fiji immigrants in Australia and thus, were able to feel at home even in the big city of Sydney.
The youth were sponsored by the “Pilgrim Partnership Support Program,” begun by WYD organizers in May 2007 in order to offer poorer youth, especially in Oceania, the chance to participate in the biggest event for youth in the world. The group from Fiji was accompanied by Archbishop Petero Mataca of Suva and the Vicar General, Fr. Beni Kaloudau.
The youth of Fiji have lived the WYD event with important roles, exhibiting their prayers, songs, and traditions in various moments during the WYD, such as the Way of the Cross and the Closing Mass, as well as in the evening World Youth Festival.
Among them were 12 seminarians from Fiji who assisted in the Closing Mass of WYD, carrying the Gospel, as well as dancing to typical local music from the Island and dressed in traditional garb.
Fiji’s youth have received a great spiritual “charge,” which they are ready to share with their local Catholic community. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 23/7/2008)
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