The 20th World Youth Day(WYD), which will be held next year August 16-21 in Germany, will hold the motto, “We have come to worship Him,” from the book of Matthew. Attending the festival of faith will be Pope John Paul II, 600 bishops and around 800,000 young people from throughout the world .
In response to the Pope's invitation to the World Youth Day for all of the world’s young people, the Office of Youth Ministry will once again be sponsoring the pilgrimage to WYD 2005 for several hundred young participants and several priests who will provide spiritual direction throughout the pilgrimage, with Kevin Bohli, director of the Office of Youth Ministry leading.
The pilgrimage will have daytime activities such as catechetical sessions, daily Mass and visit to churches and to historically significant sites and evening activities such as celebrations by Catholic artists and prayers and worship. And for the ending of the week, all 800,000 pilgrims will sleep together outdoors in a large field and rise to a celebration of the Mass by the Pope.
"Gathering with 1 million young Catholics from all over the world is a faith-changing experience. In Paris we were hosted by a group of French students, and shared our accommodations with pilgrims from Italy and Cameroon. The phrase ‘Universal Church’ suddenly became a lived experience," said Bohli. "World Youth Day is not easy ministry, and is not for everybody,” he continued. "The long walks, long lines, long days, hard floors and cold showers are a constant reminder that it is through suffering that we grow. However, those who go through the experience in the proper frame of mind will be forever changed."
Participants must be at least 16 years old and must register through their parish. This pilgrimage will be from August 14 to 22 costing approximately $1,600 per participant. More information can be found on line:www.ArlingtonCatholicYouth.org.