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Tuesday, March 31, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 31 MAR 2009 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for the Laity has organised an international meeting of World Youth Day organisers, in preparation for the next World Youth Day, which is due to be held in Madrid, Spain, in 2011. The meeting will take place in Rome from 3 to 5 April.

  "This is the first international meeting of WYD organisers in preparation for Madrid", reads an English-language note published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. "The organising committees of Sydney 2008 and Madrid 2011 will be present. There will be delegates at the meeting from around 70 countries and representatives from 35 international Catholic communities, associations and movements, a total of around 150 people".

  The sessions will begin on 3 April with a greeting by Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Evaluation of Sydney 2008 will take place with Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of that city, and Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher O.P. speaking of the fruits of the event as experienced in their archdiocese and throughout Australia. Fr. Eric Jacquinet will moderate a discussion which will enable the impact of WYD at a local level to be evaluated, and which will explore how WYD can serve as a model for the regular pastoral care of youth. Mass presided by Cardinal Pell will conclude the day's sessions.

  "Towards Madrid 2011" is the theme for the sessions of 4 April. Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, and Auxiliary Bishop Cesar Augusto Franco Martinez will talk about the Church in Spain, and present the reasons, challenges and expectations of this new phase in World Youth Days. A number of young Spaniards will also speak, and some initial information about organisational planning will be presented. Bishop Josef Clemens, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, will present Benedict XVI's Message for 24th World Youth Day, after which Cardinal Rylko will make some concluding remarks.

  On 5 April, Palm Sunday, participants will attend the Mass celebrated by the Pope in St. Peter's Square during which, in a traditional hand-over ceremony, the Australians will consign the World Youth Day cross to the Spaniards. A tangible "passing of the baton among the youth of the world", the note concludes, "which places before us as a point of reference the stark reality of the Cross, the hope that springs from the Resurrection".
CON-L/WYD MEETING/RYLKO                        VIS 20090331 (410)

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