OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - Catholic youth ministers in Sydney in July for first National Youth Symposium also in view of hosting 2008 World Youth Day, the first in Oceania

Wednesday, 1 March 2006

Sydney (Fides Service) - ‘Builders and Dreamers: Creating Sustainable Ministry with Young People’ is the theme of the first national youth symposium to be held in Sydney in July. The event will give Catholic youth ministers an opportunity to share their experience and dreams with regard to Catholic Youth Ministry, and answer questions such as how to provide a good pastoral service for young Christians today and to evangelise among young people in Oceania? The Symposium planned for 3 and 4 July will build on the groundbreaking conference “Common Ground” in 1992 and look towards the 23rd International World Youth Day to be held in Sydney 2008 on the theme “You will have the power of the Holy Spirit and you will be my witnesses. (Acts 1,8).
Speakers at the July Symposium will include bishops, clergy and lay experts in youth mission renowned in Australia and internationally, and participants will be mainly people in schools, catechists, vocations ministry, groups and movements as well as people in parish or diocesan youth ministry.
The Church and local authorities are already fully immersed in preparations for the important Church event in 2008, hosted the first time by a country in Oceania. The local authorities in New South Wales and the archdiocese of Sydney expect to welcome at least 250,000 young visitors from other parts of Australia and from other parts of the world. Spiritual preparation for the event from parish level upwards will highlight the example of Australia’s own Blessed Mary Mackillop (1842-1909) born in Melbourne of Scottish parents who devoted her life and defied many difficulties to promote education for poor children. Mary Mackillop was beatified by Pope John Paul II on his second visit to Australia in 1995. Many Australian Catholics hope Mother Mary Mackillop may be canonised by 2008. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 1/3/2006 righe 27 parole 272