.- The L'Osservatore Romano reported this week that young people in Sydney are eagerly anticipating the opening of World Youth Day and the arrival next week of Pope Benedict XVI.
At the Mount Saint Mary campus of the Catholic University of Strathfield, the Catholic Maronite Forum 2008 was inaugurated on Thursday, with Patriarch Cardinal Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir and youth delegates from the dioceses of Lebanon in attendance. The Forum will give the young people a chance to reflect on their cultural identity as Maronites.
Catholics of the Maronite Rite are part of the Eastern branch of Catholicism. They have always remained in communion with the Pope and draw their spiritual tradition from the example of St. Maron.
The Maronite Forum will come to a close on Sunday, July 13, with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Sfeir at the Parramatta Stadium.
In addition, there are three activities planned for Saturday, July 12: the meeting of Franciscan youth movements at St. Francis Primary School in Paddington; a meeting to promote Ignatian spirituality at St. Ignatius College; and a meeting of college-aged young people from Europe and Australia to discuss the theme, “Witnessing to the Gospel at the University,” which will take place at St. John College.
The Campus Ministry Office of the Vicariate of Rome has also been promoting activities in collaboration with Catholic chaplains of the Archdiocese of Sydney and the association of Catholic students of Australia.