WYD Agenda

Source: FSSPX News


Fr. Francis Kohn, responsible for the “youth” section at the Pontifical Council for the Laity, has announced the organization of the international meeting of young people with Benedict XVI: “Welcomed between August 11 and 15 in the dioceses of Germany, the young people will devote one of their days to a social activity, before reaching Cologne for the official opening day of WYD on August 16.”

Celebrations will take place in Cologne, but also in Bonn and Düsseldorf. Thus on August 16, there will be three simultaneous Masses presided over by Cardinal Meissner, archbishop of Cologne, by Cardinal Lehmann, president of the German Bishops’ Conference, and by Mgr. Bode, responsible for the youth office in Germany.

Catecheses on the theme “We have come to worship him” will be given on August 17, 18 and 19 by 300 bishops from around the world, in more than thirty different languages and in some 250 places. On the first day they will propose “The search for the truth, and the profound sense of human existence”. The second day , “Encountering Christ in the Eucharist”. The third day will be about “living in the world as true adorers of God”. During these catecheses, the young will venerate in turn, the relics of the Magi in Cologne cathedral.

During the free afternoons of August 16, 17 and 18, and every evening, the Festival of Youth will take place. On August 19, at the end of the afternoon, a Way of the Cross is scheduled in different towns and parishes where the young people will be received. On August 20, at Mariensfeld, a prayer vigil will take place with the pope. During the vigil, for the first time, there will be Eucharistic adoration. The young people will spend the night there and the following day assist at the closing Mass presided over by the pope, assisted by cardinals and bishops.

As of June 10, more than 350,000 young people had subscribed. The Germans are anticipating 800,000 faithful, and the place reserved for the pontifical Mass is capable of welcoming two million people. In 1997, the WYD in Paris gathered together a million people. At this moment, 70,000 Germans, 30,000 of whom are volunteers, have subscribed. The largest foreign delegation is that of Italy, which already has 80,000 young people. Still on June 10, there were 40,000 French and 30,000 Spaniards, with more than 20,000 Americans. There will be at least 600 bishops, 70 of whom are French.

Cardinal Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, who has been preparing for WYD for the past eight years, is expecting 7,000 priests and 700 bishops. Recalling that 80,000 families are preparing to welcome the young people, he did not hesitate to call on the 16-30 year olds to: “Come to Cologne, it’s as if you have won the lottery, it’s the chance of a lifetime!” Every continent will be represented. The Council for the Laity has set up a solidarity fund for young people coming from poor or war torn countries.

“The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, currently translated in to eight languages, must be distributed to the young people,” declared the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Mgr. Angelo Amato.