The Pontifical Council for the Laity chose eight bishops from around the U.S. to host English-speaking catechesis sessions for the upcoming World Youth Day in Madrid.
Over 28,000 U.S. pilgrims and 62 bishops have registered so far to participate in the global young adult event. The catechetical sessions will be held Aug. 17-19 in multiple sites around the Spanish capital’s metropolitan area.
The group of American catechists includes Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York – president of the U.S. bishops' conference – and Archbishop Charles Chaput, newly appointed as archbishop of Philadelphia.
Other bishops speaking at the event are: Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago; Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston; Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota; Bishop Edward Burns of Juneau, Alaska; Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, and Frank Caggiano, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn.
The group will be among 250 bishop-catechists from all over the world, drawn from different countries and language groups.
Each U.S. bishop has been asked to prepare three catechetical sessions, one for each day, based on the theme for WYD Madrid 2011: “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith.”
On Wed. Aug. 17, these bishops will center their talks on the theme “Firm in the Faith,” which will invite young people to examine the gift of faith.
Thursday’s theme, “Established in Jesus Christ,” will touch on the importance of young people establishing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and building their lives with him.
Friday’s catechesis will address the topic, “Witnesses to Christ in the World,” and will emphasize the need for all young people to be missionaries to the world around them, particularly among their peers.
The World Youth Day gathering in Madrid will be the twelfth meeting to take place at the international level since Bl. Pope John Paul II founded the event in 1985. The Madrid event is expected to draw over 1 million people.