Sydney (Fides Service) - Australia’s Catholics are preparing with growing enthusiasm to host and live the 23rd World Youth Day in 2008 which Sydney will have the honour of organising. Sydney’s Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher, head of the WYD organising committee said the great spiritual event will also have a cultural, political impact. “World Youth Day will counter the secular character of Australia. In fact the country’s secularism was built in centuries on the basis of a Christian heritage of which people are no longer aware. I am sure WYD will counter secularisation. Not by imposing itself but by announcing the Word of God which has the power to change hearts”.
As part of preparations for the event Catholic youth delegates will meet 3 and 4 July 2006 in Sydney to share their experience and dreams with regard to Catholic Youth Ministry and reflect on the Scripture passage chosen by the Pope as the theme for the 23rd World Youth Day “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 in Australia is accelerating preparations for WYD hosted the first time by a country in Oceania. The local authorities in New South Wales and the archdiocese of Sydney are planning logistics to accomodate at least 250,000 young visitors from other parts of Australia and from other parts of the world. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 13/3/2006 righe 26 parole 265)