Bishop Kiro Stojanov of Skopje in Macedonia invited hundreds of young people to his diocese who could not travel to Sydney for World Youth Day 2008 in order to give them a chance to celebrate their faith.
The enthusiast response from young people included the participation of Orthodox youth who joined with their Catholic peers in prayer, song and celebration, according to Bishop Stojanov.
The bishop said he had never seen “so many young people profoundly united in prayer,” and he was impressed by their discipline and self-control.
Bishop Christo Proykov of Sofia in Bulgaria said he was impressed by “the joy and the faces of happiness” of the young people in Macedonia, whom he called “examples for their peers.”
Spase Spasov, a Macedonia youth who participated in organizing the event, which was christened “Little Sydney,” said he was “excited” about the unity he experienced among the participants, who came from all over the Balkans.
This was the first event of its type in Macedonia, a country with a minority of Catholics. The youth rally was sponsored by the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.