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Cardinal Leads Youth Pilgrimage to Cologne

posted on 08 August 2005
The Archbishop of Westminster, along with 21 bishops, is leading more than 2,000 young English and Welsh Catholics to World Youth Day in Cologne the largest ever contingent from this country to a WYD.

They will join hundreds of thousands of young Catholics from around the world aged 16 - 30 in welcoming Pope Benedict XVI to the German cathedral city.

The Pope will arrive in Cologne by riverboat on 18 August on his first foreign trip. The week-long rally will close on 21 August with a huge outdoor Mass, which the Cardinal will concelebrate with the Pope.

'World Youth Day is an extraordinary opportunity for hundreds of thousands of young people to come together in a joint celebration of faith, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-OConnor commented.

It is surely providential that this year it should be in Germany, and that Pope Benedict is choosing the occasion for his first foreign trip and return to his native land. Pope Benedict said at his inauguration that the Church is alive. The Church is alive because it worships Jesus Christ. That is the theme of World Youth Day in Cologne, when young people from all over the world will gather under the banner, We have come to worship Him. It promises to be a memorable occasion.'

Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB, Episcopal President of the Catholic Youth Services World Youth Day said: 'World Youth Day has always given me hope that these young people will be the ones to spread the love and peace which the world so urgently needs.'


What is World Youth Day (WYD)?

A pilgrimage? A youth camp with the Pope? An international prayer festival?

WYD is a mixture of all three, a massive celebratory get-together for young Catholics with the Church's leader, Pope Benedict XVI.

More than two thousand young English Catholics are attending WYD 2005. This is the largest group ever to come to World Youth Day from England and Wales. It is also the first time such a large number of bishops from England - (21 at present) - will attend the event.

Every day, there will be Mass, prayers and teaching (catechesis) on essential aspects of the Catholic faith as well as music and cultural events.

WYD 2005 is the 20th World Youth Day since 1985 when the event was founded by Pope John Paul II. Since then, millions of young Catholics have travelled the globe to attend WYD in spots as far-flung as Toronto, Rome and the Philippines.

For many young Catholics, attending World Youth Day has proved a turning point in their faith journey.

World Youth Day 2005 divides into two phases.

PHASE ONE: August 11th - 16th

'Days of Encounter': English & Welsh Catholics will meet other WYD participants and stay with German families in parishes across the country including in the dioceses of Aachen, Munster and Trier.

Special activities will be organised daily including Social Action Days, the chance to get involved in practical hands-on projects.

PHASE TWO: August 16th - 21st

Timetable (provisional)

Tuesday August 16th: Arrival of World Youth Day groups in Cologne.

Wednesday August 17th: Catechesis, Mass.

Thursday August 18th: Catechesis. Arrival of Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor.

Mid-day: Arrival of Pope Benedict XVI. Pope travels down the Rhine to meet WYD groups at Rheinwiesen wharf. Pope travels back to Cologne via the river and visits Cologne Cathedral.

Friday August 19th: 10.30 am: Pope meets Horst Kohler. Mid-day, Pope visits Synagogue. WYD Programme: Catechesis. Way of the Cross, World Youth Day Cross events.

Saturday August 20th: Pope meets civic and political leaders including Gerhard Schroder. Meeting with Muslim representatives. Pilgrimage to vigil
site. Pope joins young people for prayer vigil ending at 10.30 pm.

Sunday August 21st: 10.am: Closing Mass with the Pope. 6.45 pm: Pope Benedict XVI leaves for Rome.
Interviews will be available with:

First - timers: young Catholics attending World Youth Day for the first time.

Returnees: Catholics who have attended World Youth Day in the past, such as WYD 2002 in Toronto, or WYD 2000 in Rome


Representatives of agencies of the Catholic Bishops' Conference: CAFOD, The Catholic Agency for Evangelisation, The National Office of Vocations

Catechesis givers: Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop Nichols of Birmingham, Archbishop MacDonald of Southwark.
For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact Jo Siedlecka mobile: 07720810479

Useful websites:

Cologne WYD office site: http://www.wjt2005.de/index.php?id=5&si=0

Westminster Diocese WYD: http://www.worldyouthday.org.uk

Clifton Diocese WYD: http://www.worldyouthday.ik.com/

Notes for Editors To arrange interviews with Cardinal Murphy-OConnor or other bishops in Cologne please call Jo Siedlecka mobile: 07720810479. Please do NOT call Austen Ivereigh.
Contact Details:
Jo Siedlecka
Telephone: 07720 810 479

Related links:
posted on 08 August 2005

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