WYD organizers up number of international attendees to 125,000

Sydney, Australia, Mar 14, 2008 / 04:16 pm (CNA) .- Organizers of World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney are expecting at least 125,000 non-Australians to participate in the event this summer, according to WYD operations officer Danny Casey.

According to the SIR news agency, Casey explained that “reduced numbers have been circulating for some time and are due to outdated information. Today, after counting the numbers of foreign pilgrim groups we can say that the figure of 125,000 international attendees is confirmed.  21,000 will come from the United States alone,” he said.

The organizing committee also unveiled the three catechetical topics of WYD Sydney 2008, which were chosen by the Pontifical Council for the Laity: “The thread that connects the three days is the Holy Spirit, who is present in the general theme of WYD. ‘Called to live in the Holy Spirit’ is the theme of the catechesis for July 16; ‘The Holy Spirit, soul of the Church’ is the theme for July 17; and for July 18 the theme will be, ‘Sent into the world: the Holy Spirit, principal agent of mission’.”

WYD general coordinator and Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney explained, “The catecheses are the heart of WYD.  I encourage the participating young people to begin reflecting now on these topics in order to appropriately prepare for this event,” he said.