National Catholic Register

Opinion

Looking to Australia

In our lead story on page one this week, we provide a lot of information, including a schedule, for an event that is one year and three months away.

BY Father Owen Kearns

Publisher

April 15-21, 2007 Issue | Posted 4/10/07 at 10:00 AM

 

In our lead story on page one this week, we provide a lot of information, including a schedule, for an event that is one year and three months away.

It may seem like much ado about something far, far away. But that is precisely the point. Australia is far away, and traveling there takes some doing. We want to make certain that young people — and their families, parishes and apostolic groups — start thinking about Sydney and planning for it now.

After all, the more people who go to World Youth Day, the better it is for the whole Church. World Youth Days transform young people’s understanding of the Church, through catechesis, confession and fellowship with other Catholics.

But something intangible happens at World Youth Day. To be among throngs of young people just like them, cheering and praying, makes a deep impression on pilgrims. It changes young people’s perception of the Church. If before they associated Catholicism with old people or dull activities, they begin to see what Pope Benedict saw when young voices cheered him in his first appearances in white.

“The Church is alive!” he said at his installation Mass “The Church is young!”

The Church is young, and getting younger. If World Youth Day Catholics are the future of the Church, then the Church’s greatest days are ahead of it, not behind it.

So, look to the Register to keep you updated on the latest regarding the next World Youth Day — and look to the website WYD2008.org to start making your own plans now.

Young people have already started raising the money they need to get to Sydney in July 2008. Some are selling subscriptions to the Register and Faith & Family magazine to raise money. To learn how to partner with us in your fundraising efforts for this or any other purpose, visit: E-ZFunds4U.com.