Santo Domingo (Fides Service) - At least 500 young peopled aged 18 to 30 will form the official delegation which the Church in Dominican Republic is sending to the 20th World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany in August. The youngsters, connected with Salesian communities and youth groups in 8 of the country’s 11 dioceses, have almost completed intense preparation in view of meeting young followers of Christ from all over the world at the WYD event. Besides the official delegation, also groups from Micaelita Youth Movement and the Neocatechumen Way are preparing for the event in Germany according to a report sent to Fides by Waldo Brea a member of the National Youth Pastoral Office.
Preparation for the pilgrimage to Cologne to adore Christ the Lord in the footsteps of the Three Wise Men, focussed on the spiritual formation and preparation of the young participants. They also received detailed information for the journey and the great days of festivities which are part of WYD.
Preparatory initiatives organised by the local Church included: a Congress on “Dignity and Morals and Young People” 22 and 23 January attended by 400 young people from all over the country and youth pastoral leaders from Haití; national Youth Day 31 January; Youth Easter celebrations on the theme “We have come to adore him” (Mt 2,2); Global Day for Voluntary Youth Service 15 to 17 April; Course for Youth Pastoral animators and assessors and animators of pastoral care for adolescents; a round table discussion “Getting to know the new Pope”; and various other minor events.
The official youth delegation which will be hosted by Essen diocese is preparing cultural and workshop activities to present during the WYD; 2 young members of the delegation will be part of an international team for service during liturgy. On Sunday 31 July in Santo Domingo Cathedral the pilgrims will take part in a solemn Mass presided by Cardinal Nicolas de Jesús López Rodriguez, Archbisop of Santo Domingo. (RZ) (Agenzia Fides 12/7/2005, righe 26, parole 356)