News

September 23, 2009

Sydney, Australia, Sep 23, 2009 / 01:03 am (CNA) .- The Catholic Church in Australia is trying to secure refugee status for a young Kenyan woman who came to Australia for World Youth Day and wants to stay because she claims that she will be circumcised and forced to marry if she returns to her country.

July 17, 2009

Sydney, Australia, Jul 17, 2009 / 12:26 pm (CNA) .- Last year at this time, hundreds of thousands of Catholic youths journeyed to Australia to grow in their faith at World Youth Day. To remember and reflect on the blessings of the event, the Archdiocese of Syndey will be holding a Mass and broadcasting it live on its website.

April 20, 2009

Rome, Italy, Apr 20, 2009 / 01:04 pm (CNA) .- The youth department of the Pontifical Council for the Laity has published the “WYD Magazine,” dedicated completely to World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney.

January 14, 2009

Fairbanks, Alaska, Jan 14, 2009 / 10:00 pm (CNA) .- A World Youth Day 2008 attendee was the only person in her class to graduate from a small Alaska high school.

September 8, 2008

CNA STAFF, Sep 8, 2008 / 01:45 pm (CNA) .- Xt3.com users received special messages from Pope Benedict and the Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, Cardinal George Pell to mark 50 days after the closing of World Youth Day 2008.  The prelates recalled the celebrations during the events and invited the young pilgrims to continue building their relationship with Jesus.

August 21, 2008

Rome, Italy, Aug 21, 2008 / 03:02 pm (CNA) .- One month after the end of World Youth Day in Australia, the Archbishop Sydney, Cardinal George Pell underscored that the success of the event is not only related to the numbers of those who attended, but above all to the spiritual and religious fruits that were achieved.

July 28, 2008

Konigstein, Germany, Jul 28, 2008 / 04:07 pm (CNA) .- 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.

July 25, 2008

Santiago, Chile, Jul 25, 2008 / 04:43 pm (CNA) .- A group of 528 young people from Chile who traveled to Sydney for World Youth Day returned home on Thursday and shared with reporters their renewed zeal for the faith after their experience with Pope Benedict XVI and thousands of young people from around the world.

Suva, Fiji, Jul 25, 2008 / 12:01 am (CNA) .- Pilgrims from the Fiji Islands have returned home after experiencing a “tsunami of faith and joy” at World Youth Day in Sydney.

July 23, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jul 23, 2008 / 10:19 pm (CNA) .- Pilgrims for World Youth Day have all gone their separate ways with the close of the international Catholic youth gathering. Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, took time this past Sunday to reflect on the hospitality of Sydney residents, the enthusiasm of the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, and the “genuine” prayer surrounding the event. With all of this, he said “This is a good time to be Catholic.”

July 20, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jul 20, 2008 / 11:53 pm (CNA) .- Pope Benedict departed Australia for Rome today after a busy eight-day stay. The Holy Father bid adieu by blessing Australia and holding a farewell ceremony with the Prime Minister (PM) Kevin Rudd, who announced that Australia will begin diplomatic relations with the Holy See for the first time.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 20, 2008 / 11:06 pm (CNA) .- The Pope personally thanked volunteers of World Youth Day this morningon the lawn of Sydney famous park, The Domain, where hundreds ofvolunteers gathered to farewell the Pope hours before he was scheduledto leave for Rome.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 20, 2008 / 10:48 pm (CNA) .- Pope Benedict XVI met four victims of child sex abuse this morning at a private Mass held at St. Mary’s Cathedral House. Two women and two men, who wished to remain anonymous, celebrated Mass with the Pope, who then listened to their stories and offered consolation.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 20, 2008 / 08:18 am (CNA) .- Expressing his thanks for his city being chosen as site for the 2011 World Youth Day, Juan Antonio Martinez, Auxiliary Bishop of Madrid spoke at a press conference today at the Radisson Plaza Hotel after the announcement was made.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 20, 2008 / 07:41 am (CNA) .- The largest ever gathering of U.S. pilgrims at a WYD festival was held yesterday morning at The Domain, one of Sydney’s landmark parks for WYD08.   In his homily, Cardinal Francis George spoke of the freedom in surrendering to Christ.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 20, 2008 / 02:36 am (CNA) .- At the Final Mass for World Youth Day in Sydney, Pope Benedict announced that the next World Youth Day would be held in Madrid, Spain in 2011.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 20, 2008 / 02:14 am (CNA) .- The Final Mass concluding World Youth Day celebrations contained a number of distinctive features. First and foremost among the highlights is that it was the largest gathering of people in the history of Australia.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 20, 2008 / 02:04 am (CNA) .- Over 235,000 young pilgrims camped at Randwick Racecourse last night awaiting the final Mass celebrated this morning. While half of the 500,000 who attended the final Mass traveled into the racecourse via public transport, thousands of pilgrims braved the cold to reserve their space for the Mass, pray before the Blessed Sacrament, receive confession and take part in the night’s festivities.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 20, 2008 / 01:55 am (CNA) .- World Youth Day celebrations reached their climatic end on Sunday as Pope Benedict XVI concluded the biggest ever gathering of people in Australia. The Holy Father challenged the youth to bring about a “new age” for humanity by being open to the power of the Holy Spirit and to think about the legacy that they will leave for future generations.

July 19, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jul 19, 2008 / 11:32 am (CNA) .- As he made his way to the Evening Vigil at Randwick racecourse on Saturday evening, Pope Benedict paid a brief visit to some of Australia’s retired Church officials, who were delighted by their encounter with the Pontiff.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 19, 2008 / 06:58 am (CNA) .- Alongside the WYD cross and the icon of Mary, and under the "magnificent constellation of the Southern Cross," the Pope delivered a message to pilgrims gathered at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney for the final night of WYD08, inspiring them to offer hope, strive for unity and to transform their families, communities and nations empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 19, 2008 / 02:05 am (CNA) .- Over 180,000 pilgrims waving national flags and hoisting camping gear are processing through the streets of Sydney city today towards Southern Cross Precinct where the Final Mass for WYD08 will be held.

July 18, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jul 18, 2008 / 11:59 pm (CNA) .- At the consecration of the altar at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney this morning, Pope Benedict XVI issued an anticipated formal apology to people who experienced sexual abuse by clergy of the Australian Catholic Church.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 18, 2008 / 08:04 pm (CNA) .- Pope Benedict XVI met with disadvantaged youth at Sacred Heart Church on the Darlinghurst campus of the University of Notre Dame Australia on Friday. Exhorting them to become “ambassadors of hope” to others, despite their regrets and disadvantages, he asked the youths to commit themselves to a lifelong friendship with Jesus Christ, who the Pope said welcomes them “with open arms.”

Sydney, Australia, Jul 18, 2008 / 01:41 pm (CNA) .- Auxiliary Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez of Madrid, who is in Sydney for World Youth Day 2008, said young people give “great hope for the Church and the world.”

Rome, Italy, Jul 18, 2008 / 12:28 pm (CNA) .- "It was an extraordinary experience to have the Pope among us.  We were all in the boat with our flags, very happy to be living those moments.”  These were the words Ryan Stichweh used to describe the boat ride he and 200 other young people shared with Pope Benedict XVI during the opening ceremonies of World Youth Day.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 18, 2008 / 09:36 am (CNA) .- An audience of half a billion tuned in to watch the performance that involved around 80 performers and was played out by young people at six major venues around Sydney. Over 270,000 international and local spectators also made their way to points around the city to watch the Stations of the Cross live and on big screen televisions.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 18, 2008 / 05:07 am (CNA) .- Addressing around twenty religious leaders from the Islamic, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist faith communities, Pope Benedict called on them to help promote a harmonious relationship between religion and public life.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 18, 2008 / 04:03 am (CNA) .- Twelve young people from across the world shared lunch with the Holy Father at St. Mary’s Cathedral House Reception Hall on Friday. Armando Cervantes, the U.S. representative, said his encounter with the Pope made him realize that, “this is a man who loves us, who wants us to know and understand the love that Christ has for us.”

Sydney, Australia, Jul 18, 2008 / 01:34 am (CNA) .- Fifteen leaders of the Australian Christian church met the Pope in an Ecumenical event held in the St. Mary’s Cathedral Crypt on Friday morning. In his address to the church leaders, Benedict XVI called on them to not view doctrine as divisive since that view can prevent Christians from working to improve the world.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 18, 2008 / 12:04 am (CNA) .- Young people gathered on Friday morning to hear Archbishop Charles Chaput speak on the Holy Spirit and the duty of Christians to be missionaries received a challenge to not live in a ‘Catholic ghetto.’

July 17, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jul 17, 2008 / 09:21 pm (CNA) .- Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota told a crowded room of pilgrims at Sydney's University of Notre Dame that they should work to "create a culture of life,” to participate in the mission of the Holy Spirit.

Havana, Cuba, Jul 17, 2008 / 06:04 pm (CNA) .- Father Jesus Del Pino, pastor of Guaimaro in Camaguey, Cuba, lamented that only one Cuban young person, who is actually a Spanish citizen, is present at World Youth Day in Sydney, because the government of New Zealand denied visas to the rest of the Cuban delegations over fears of “possible illegal immigration.”

Sydney, Australia, Jul 17, 2008 / 02:34 pm (CNA) .- The “Vocations Expo,” which has given religious congregations a chance to showcase their charisms and apostolates to the young people attending World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney has been “a true success,” organizers have revealed.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 17, 2008 / 11:51 am (CNA) .- In his welcoming address to the young pilgrims at World Youth Day, the Holy Father spoke of the majesty of creation: the sparkle and vastness of the oceans, the beauty of the sunset before reinforcing that while nature is “truly wonderous,” man is the “apex of God’s creation.”

Sydney, Australia, Jul 17, 2008 / 09:49 am (CNA) .- Speaking to an international audience of pilgrims at WYD08 in Sydney’s Convention and Exhibition Centre on Thursday, Most Rev. Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham, England explained how the Holy Spirit is at the heart of the Church.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 17, 2008 / 07:00 am (CNA) .- In the midst of jubilant crowds, the Papal “Boat-a-cade” arrived at Barangaroo this afternoon, after sailing around Sydney Harbour, where the Pope waved to tens of thousands people who had lined the foreshore to catch a glimpse of the Pontiff.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 17, 2008 / 04:32 am (CNA) .- Pope Benedict XVI paid a visit to the Blessed Mary MacKillop Chapel this morning, which is dedicated to a woman who may become Australia’s first saint. 

Sydney, Australia, Jul 17, 2008 / 03:14 am (CNA) .- The Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd and Governor General, Major General Michael Jeffery, Australia’s head of State, extended a warm welcome to the Pope at a formal ceremony held on the lawn of Sydney’s Government House this morning following a 21-gun salute and an inspection of the Federation Guard.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 17, 2008 / 02:13 am (CNA) .- The generosity of 750 Austrian young people participating in World Youth Day in Sydney has made it possible for 44 Sudanese youths to attend the event for the first time.

July 16, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jul 16, 2008 / 11:01 pm (CNA) .- A thousand young people from Canada gathered at the Cathedral of Saint Mary in Sydney to venerate the relics of Pier Giorgio Frassati, an Italian blessed who died before reaching the age of 24 and who is one of the 10 patron saints of WYD 2008.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 16, 2008 / 10:18 pm (CNA) .- World Youth Day pilgrims attended catechetical sessions on the theme: "The Holy Spirit, soul of the Church" throughout Sydney, Australia on Thursday morning. In one address to young people, Denver, Colorado's Archbishop Charles Chaput stressed that,“Without the Church, there’s no way we can have a lasting, personal relationship with the true Jesus Christ.”

Sydney, Australia, Jul 16, 2008 / 04:00 pm (CNA) .- After resting two days at the Opus Dei Center in the Australian Blue Mountains, Pope Benedict XVI held an emotional encounter with members of his security team there, including one terminally-ill police officer, before leaving for Sydney.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 16, 2008 / 07:34 am (CNA) .- Charles J. Chaput, the Archbishop of Denver, spoke in Sydney on Wednesday night at a Theology on Tap session as part of a World Youth Day Youth Festival Event. In a speech which will be broadcast on the Australian television station Channel Nine, he exhorted young Catholics to avoid living a double life of “part-time Christianity,” and to know and love Christ “like our lives depend on it.”

Sydney, Australia, Jul 16, 2008 / 03:53 am (CNA) .- Around Sydney, pilgrims were given a taste of Australian culture with the WYD Big Aussie BBQ. Taking place at more than 200 venues, over 220,000 slices of Tip Top “Daily Bread” were served with sausages and tomato sauce.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 16, 2008 / 03:43 am (CNA) .- Pope Benedict XVI held an unsual audience on Wednesday morning--a meeting with a koala, red-necked wallaby joey and other iconic Australian animals at the Kenthurst Study Centre.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 16, 2008 / 02:08 am (CNA) .- Around 400 youth packed St. Benedict's Church to hear Bishop Joseph Pepe of Las Vegas, Nevada deliver a catechesis on the Holy Spirit on Wednesday morning. The bishop challenged the youth to ask how the Holy Spirit is calling them vocationally. 

July 15, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jul 15, 2008 / 11:31 pm (CNA) .- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput spoke to World Youth Day participants in a teaching session titled, “Called to live in the Holy Spirit” on Wednesday morning. During his address he explained the importance of listening to the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit in today’s ‘violent’ world.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 15, 2008 / 06:13 pm (CNA) .- A Sydney court has overturned a law that would prevent protesters from “annoying” pilgrims at World Youth Day, ruling that it limited free speech. Bishop Anthony Fischer, who is in charge of facilitating the youth event, has suggested the overruling of the law would reduce the interest of those who were “cranky” with World Youth Day, saying such protestors will be overcome by the joy of pilgrims.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 15, 2008 / 04:11 pm (CNA) .- During the opening Mass for World Youth Day on Tuesday, Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia reminded the youth in his homily, to be open to the Holy Spirit and willing to “take the next step” to follow Christ.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 15, 2008 / 01:37 pm (CNA) .- Tuesday morning the Holy Father sent his first text message to thousands of World Youth Day supporters across Australia.

Madrid, Spain, Jul 15, 2008 / 12:49 pm (CNA) .- Bishop Carlos Lopez Hernandez of Salamanca in Spain has begun a five-day pilgrimage on foot from Salamanca to the famous shrine of Santiago de Compostela where together with young people he will celebrate World Youth Day in solidarity with the young people in Australia.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 15, 2008 / 05:10 am (CNA) .- Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd greeted pilgrims prior to the Mass, in several different languages. “You are here for this great celebration of life, this great celebration of faith and this great celebration of hope," said the Australian Prime Minister. "For this you are so much the light of the world at a time when the world has so much darkness."

Sydney, Australia, Jul 15, 2008 / 03:12 am (CNA) .- Pope Benedict XVI, speaking in his video message to World Youth Day pilgrims shortly before the commencement of the event, said he looked forward to the upcoming opportunities for prayer and reflection with young people from around the world. Saying that the goals truly worth living for are found in Jesus Christ, he asked for prayers for the success of his mission and for the spiritual growth of World Youth Day pilgrims ...

Sydney, Australia, Jul 15, 2008 / 01:35 am (CNA) .- Forty five Sisters of Life have arrived in Sydney, Australia to host the Love and Life site at the Notre Dame University in conjunction with the Knights of Columbus and the John Paul II Institute.

July 14, 2008

Rome, Italy, Jul 14, 2008 / 10:09 pm (CNA) .- Iraq’s Catholics have responded with gratitude to the decision of the Australian Embassy in Amman, Jordan to issue 27 visas that will allow some young Iraqis to participate in World Youth Day, though the number provided falls far short of the 170 which had been requested.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 14, 2008 / 09:00 pm (CNA) .- We have been invaded by joy,” Bishop Anthony Fisher, coordinator of World Youth Day 2008 told a press conference in Sydney this morning on the first day of World Youth Day celebrations.

, Jul 14, 2008 / 08:31 pm (CNA) .- Salesian Sister MaryAnn Schaefer, admissions director at Mary Help of Christian Academy in North Haledon, NJ, couldn't dream of a better place to celebrate her 25th jubilee as a religious sister than at World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 14, 2008 / 07:57 pm (CNA) .- During his flight to Australia for the celebration of World Youth Day, Pope Benedict XVI answered questions from journalists on the papal airplane covering the significance of World Youth Day, the problems of secularism, clerical sexual abuse, climate change and the turmoil in the Anglican Communion.

Portland, Maine, Jul 14, 2008 / 04:14 pm (CNA) .- Bishop Richard Malone has been selected to be among those leading English-speaking youth in prayer and reflection during World Youth Day 2008. About 225,000 pilgrims are registered to attend World Youth Day which is being held in Sydney, Australia from July 15-20. It is the custom to begin this world meeting with three days of daily catechesis (religious instruction) guided by bishops.

Denver, Colo., Jul 14, 2008 / 11:45 am (CNA) .- World Youth Day is the largest gathering of Catholic youth in the world.  Given this significance, CNA will be providing the best coverage out of any media outlet. The full array of multimedia resources will be available on our website along with exclusive stories.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 14, 2008 / 09:12 am (CNA) .- The Pope has passed his first 24 hours in Sydney in an environment of peace and tranquillity, the official spokesman for the Vatican Father Federico Lombardi, told the press.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 14, 2008 / 08:42 am (CNA) .- "To see our leader, to see the Pope." This is the sole desire for Tujai Maris, a pilgrim of Myanmar that arrived with other 32 pilgrims at Sydney in the afternoon on Monday to participate in World Youth Day celebrations.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 14, 2008 / 07:49 am (CNA) .- Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell welcomed all to World Youth Day celebrations at a press conference this morning, one day before the official proceedings begin.

Rome, Italy, Jul 14, 2008 / 07:40 am (CNA) .- The Spanish Bishops’ Conference has announced that a 25 year-old Spaniard will represent the youth of Europe at the traditional lunch Pope Benedict XVI will host with World Youth Day attendees.

July 13, 2008

Cologne, Germany, Jul 13, 2008 / 08:16 pm (CNA) .- Six-thousand young Germans will participate in WYD, according to Sabine Wißdorf, head of the delegation of the German Bishops Conference in Sydney.  The large number of German travelers, he continued, “is also evidence of the fact the 2005 World Youth Day of Cologne left its mark.”

Sydney, Australia, Jul 13, 2008 / 10:20 am (CNA) .- As Pope Benedict XVI landed in Sydney on Sunday, the youth who are eagerly awaiting World Youth Day, received a message from the Pope. In his remarks to the young pilgrims, the Holy Father prayed that they will be filled with joy, find rest in the Lord and fervent about sharing the Gospel with all.

Brussels, Belgium, Jul 13, 2008 / 03:17 am (CNA) .- During their pilgrimage to Sydney, a group of Belgians planted trees as part of their commitment to the preservation of the environment. Meanwhile the Belgian youth who were unable to attend the international gathering will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the apparitions in Banneux, Belgium.

July 12, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jul 12, 2008 / 07:03 pm (CNA) .- A statue of Pope John Paul II which stands more than six and a half feet tall and weighs more than 1,100 lbs. was unveiled at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney last Saturday.

London, England, Jul 12, 2008 / 02:14 pm (CNA) .- Along with 20 bishops, 2,000 young people from England and Wales are traveling to Sydney to see Pope Benedict on his first visit to Australia.  Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster expressed his excitement for the visit given the impact it will have on Australia and on the young people who attend.

Vienna, Austria, Jul 12, 2008 / 12:39 pm (CNA) .- Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn left on July 9 with 750 young people to take part in the 23rd World Youth Day, hopeful that the papal celebration will leave a deep impression on Europe.

Rome, Italy, Jul 12, 2008 / 03:58 am (CNA) .- The Australian government has denied visas to dozens of World Youth Day pilgrims from Iraq, citing concerns that participants will not return home and instead will seek asylum in Australia. One Chaldean Catholic priest called the decision “a slap at young people who wanted to go to witness to the faith and the joy of the church’s living in Iraq despite sufferings.”

Sydney, Australia, Jul 12, 2008 / 01:39 am (CNA) .- The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s National Office for Evangelization has launched an evangelization program called “Rewired” to sustain the enthusiasm of young Catholics after World Youth Day.

July 11, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jul 11, 2008 / 12:38 pm (CNA) .- 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.

Vatican City, Jul 11, 2008 / 09:51 am (CNA) .- Shepherd One, Pope Benedict XVI’s airplane will take off from Rome on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. bearing the Holy Father on his way to Australia for World Youth Day.

July 9, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jul 9, 2008 / 10:22 pm (CNA) .- Catholics are responding to anti-papal demonstrators who plan to distribute condoms to pilgrims at World Youth Day by distributing Natural Family Planning information.

July 8, 2008

Vatican City, Jul 8, 2008 / 10:10 am (CNA) .- Coinciding with Pope Benedict’s upcoming visit to Sydney, the Central Statistical Office of the Church has released statistics on the presence of the Catholic Church in Australia.

July 7, 2008

Rome, Italy, Jul 7, 2008 / 01:38 pm (CNA) .- More than ten thousand New Zealanders or, “kiwis,” as they call themselves, will participate in the next World Youth Day, which will take place July 15-20 in Sydney, Australia.

Vatican City, Jul 7, 2008 / 09:33 am (CNA) .- Pilgrims at World Youth Day and those from around the world who pray for the ‘spiritual goals of this meeting and for its happy outcome," will be able to receive indulgences, the Vatican announced on Saturday.

July 2, 2008

Washington D.C., Jul 2, 2008 / 08:22 pm (CNA) .- In what American organizers claim is the largest international delegation to World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, the U.S. will send 15,000 young people to the July event.

Sydney, Australia, Jul 2, 2008 / 05:53 am (CNA) .- Laws introduced in the Australian state of New South Wales to prevent people from “causing annoyance” or inconvenience to participants in World Youth Day now face stiff criticism for their requirements that organizations have placards, banners and T-shirts pre-approved by authorities.

June 30, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jun 30, 2008 / 06:18 pm (CNA) .- The organizers of World Youth Day 2008, which will be held July 15-20 in Sydney, are preparing a debate on creation and evolution which will be moderated by Cardinal Cristoph Schönborn of Vienna.

June 29, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jun 29, 2008 / 03:26 am (CNA) .- A British former gang member will appear alongside Pope Benedict XVI during the World Youth Day evening vigil on July 19 to describe how God dramatically changed his life.

June 23, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jun 23, 2008 / 08:11 pm (CNA) .- Registrations for World Youth Day 2008 (WYD08) are nearing 200,000, organizers for the July event have announced.

June 22, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jun 22, 2008 / 03:49 pm (CNA) .- Alfio Stuto and Maria Dixon, the actors who will play Jesus and Mary in World Youth Day 2008’s Stations of the Cross, on Friday climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge with BridgeClimb Sydney to observe the route of the Stations from a “bird’s-eye view.”

June 17, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jun 17, 2008 / 02:11 am (CNA) .- Pope Benedict XVI will confirm 24 young people at the World Youth Day Final Mass near Sydney on Sunday July 20, it has been announced.

June 14, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jun 14, 2008 / 04:23 pm (CNA) .- On Thursday Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, launched the Catholic social networking site Xt3.com to help connect young people ahead of next month’s World Youth Day. Cardinal Pell said the site, which is similar to popular social sites like Facebook and MySpace, would ensure that young Catholics who cannot travel to Sydney for the event would be able to experience it in real time.

June 13, 2008

Vatican City, Jun 13, 2008 / 09:23 am (CNA) .- Today the Vatican announced that the relics of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a student and member of the Dominican Third Order, will be taken to Sydney, Australia, for World Youth Day next month.

June 12, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jun 12, 2008 / 08:26 pm (CNA) .- Over 2,500 high school student volunteers are packing more than 275,000 backpacks for World Youth Day pilgrims at a packing center near Sydney. So far, over 200,000 have already been packed.

June 11, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jun 11, 2008 / 02:12 am (CNA) .- World Youth Day 2008 organizers, planning a massive barbeque for pilgrims, have placed orders for food supplies for the massive event that will take place this July. About 25 million items have been ordered for the up to 125,000 expected international visitors and 60,000 Australian attendees.

May 30, 2008

Vatican City, May 30, 2008 / 11:07 am (CNA) .- The Holy See’s Press Office has released the full itinerary for Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to World Youth Day, which will take place July 15-20.

May 29, 2008

Sydney, Australia, May 29, 2008 / 06:17 pm (CNA) .- The organizers of World Youth Day have released a partial itinerary for Pope Benedict XVI’s time at the international youth event.

May 23, 2008

Sydney, Australia, May 23, 2008 / 04:07 pm (CNA) .- Her name is Sophie Delezio, and at eight years old she has already miraculously survived two serious accidents.  In spite of suffering burns over 85% of her body, losing both her legs, several fingers and her right ear, she never stopped fighting.  This Australian girl has been chosen to be one of World Youth Day 2008’s ambassadors.

May 15, 2008

Sydney, Australia, May 15, 2008 / 11:49 pm (CNA) .- World Youth Day 2008 organizers have launched a campaign to Sydney-area residents to inform them that the July event is open to all.

May 8, 2008

Sydney, Australia, May 8, 2008 / 05:08 am (CNA) .- This July, Pope Benedict XVI will text message thousands of Catholic pilgrims at World Youth Day, sending messages of hope and inspiration directly to young people through the latest technological medium.

May 4, 2008

Adelaide, Australia, May 4, 2008 / 04:46 pm (CNA) .- A flying priest is leading a squadron of 15 pilots in a 4,600-mile flight around Australia to raise funds for World Youth Day pilgrims and to raise awareness about the plight of East Timor.

May 3, 2008

Sydney, Australia, May 3, 2008 / 01:07 pm (CNA) .- This July, Pope Benedict XVI will spend three extra days resting in Australia before heading to Sydney for World Youth Day 2008.

April 25, 2008

Melbourne, Australia, Apr 25, 2008 / 05:03 pm (CNA) .- Anticipation of World Youth Day is continuing to build as is evidenced by a crowd of 2,500 for the handing over of the WYD Cross and Icon at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne on April 24.

April 23, 2008

Liverpool, United Kingdom, Apr 23, 2008 / 01:09 am (CNA) .- Nearly thirty young people from dioceses across England and Wales are being trained as World Youth Day Communications Officers for the July event in Sydney. 

April 22, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Apr 22, 2008 / 03:30 am (CNA) .- According to the government of New South Wales, the Catholic Church will pay a “significant amount” of the bill for World Youth Day in Sydney, News.com.au reports.

March 25, 2008

, Mar 25, 2008 / 06:43 am (CNA) .- World Youth Day preparations in Australia have inspired Catholic young people to grow in their faith as they perform Passion plays and enact Stations of the Cross.

March 18, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Mar 18, 2008 / 10:04 am (CNA) .- Bishop Anthony Fisher, the coordinator for World Youth Day, has recruited an army of Australian nuns to storm Heaven with prayers for good weather on for the Pope’s arrival in Sydney.

March 14, 2008

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.

March 12, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Mar 12, 2008 / 04:15 pm (CNA) .- Young people who will be in Sydney for World Youth Day 2008 will be able to venerate the relics of Pier Giorgio Frassati, one of the ten patron saints of the event, at the city’s Cathedral, according to a report by SIR news agency.

Sydney, Australia, Mar 12, 2008 / 02:36 am (CNA) .- An independent study claims that World Youth Day 2008 will bring $231 million into the Australian economy.

March 10, 2008

, Mar 10, 2008 / 04:39 pm (CNA) .- Some 350 young people from the island of Guam will travel to Australia to attend World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, thanks to the efforts of local Catholics.  The young people have raised the money for their trip through cultural events, fairs, sporting events and donations from foreign organizations.

March 4, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Mar 4, 2008 / 06:24 am (CNA) .- The Perth Mint and the Australian Post Office have released a set of limited edition coins and stamps commemorating World Youth Day 2008.

February 28, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Feb 28, 2008 / 04:08 am (CNA) .- During his July Australian visit for World Youth Day 2008, Pope Benedict XVI will stay in the residence of Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, The Age reports.

February 26, 2008

Vatican City, Feb 26, 2008 / 01:12 pm (CNA) .- Various bishops from the Oceania region say that the faithful in their churches are looking to Pope Benedict XVI’s visit for World Youth Day as “an event of special grace".

February 21, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Feb 21, 2008 / 06:15 am (CNA) .- World Youth Day officials organizing the live depiction of the Stations of the Cross are still looking for an actor to play Jesus, the AM show on Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio reports.

January 30, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jan 30, 2008 / 06:10 pm (CNA) .- In a preview of World Youth Day, a new Mass composed for the July event was performed in Sydney on Tuesday, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

January 17, 2008

Sydney, Australia, Jan 17, 2008 / 04:32 am (CNA) .- Cardinal George Pell credited his two-decades-long friendship with Pope Benedict XVI for the success of his efforts to bring World Youth Day to Australia in 2008.

December 13, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Dec 13, 2007 / 12:22 pm (CNA) .- Operational plans for World Youth Day 2008 have been approved by the Pontifical Council of the Laity, the Vatican body overseeing preparations.

Sydney, Australia, Dec 13, 2007 / 12:09 pm (CNA) .- Strict emergency laws will be in force during the World Youth Day events in 2008, tightening security and banning unapproved advertisements near event venues, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

December 12, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Dec 12, 2007 / 12:51 pm (CNA) .- World Youth Day organizers are giving parents, grandparents, teachers and friends the chance to give young people a life changing gift for Christmas, a voucher to attend World Youth Day being held July 15-20 2008 in Sydney.

December 5, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Dec 5, 2007 / 12:32 pm (CNA) .- World Youth Day 2008 organizers have announced their selection of a prestigious set designer to create the Stations of the Cross for the international youth event.

November 22, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Nov 22, 2007 / 09:23 am (CNA) .- The work of Richard Campbell, an Australian from the Gumbaingirr/Dhungutti people, has been selected to be displayed at World Youth Day events and on event paraphernalia.

November 13, 2007

, Nov 13, 2007 / 10:29 am (CNA) .- Preparations for the World Youth Day 2008 gathering in Sydney were discussed Monday at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Baltimore.

November 12, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Nov 12, 2007 / 01:51 pm (CNA) .- WYD officials will be casting actors December 1-3 to participate in the traditional Way of the Cross during the upcoming World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008. 

November 6, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Nov 6, 2007 / 12:34 pm (CNA) .- Two major symbols of World Youth Day, the World Youth Day Cross and and the Sacred Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary, have continued to travel across Australia in preparation for the worldwide gathering of youth in Sydney next year.

November 1, 2007

Oslo, Norway, Nov 1, 2007 / 09:58 am (CNA) .- The many preparations necessary for World Youth Day 2008 are causing some organizers to utilize the internet to reach the youth.  Father Reider Voith, head of the youth pastoral office of the diocese of Oslo, explained Norway Catholics' internet efforts in an interview with Servizio Informazione Religiosa (SIR).

October 26, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Oct 26, 2007 / 10:48 am (CNA) .- Pope Benedict XVI's call for a New Pentecost at World Youth Day was featured in remarks made by Bishop Julian Porteous, auxiliary bishop of Sydney, The Catholic Weekly reports.

October 23, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Oct 23, 2007 / 10:47 am (CNA) .- World Youth Day 2008 organizers have hosted an information evening for more 15 Australian Jewish leaders. Bishop Anthony Fisher said that he sees World Youth Day as “an opportunity like no other for the renewal of every aspect of faith life in Australia.”

October 22, 2007

Santiago, Chile, Oct 22, 2007 / 11:14 am (CNA) .- More than 70,000 young people traveled to the Shrine of St. Teresa of the Andes on October 20 in order to renew their commitment to be missionary disciples of Christ and to prepare for World Youth Day 2008.

October 17, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Oct 17, 2007 / 11:25 am (CNA) .- “Let us not be ashamed of the Gospel, let us not hold back because of fear, [do not have] absurd inferiority complexes before a world that always denies God.  Let us be brave,” said Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

October 4, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Oct 4, 2007 / 09:51 am (CNA) .- Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, called spiritual and religious preparation "the most important challenge" for the upcoming World Youth Day 2008.  The cardinal noted an "erosion of faith and practice," citing census figures showing a two percent increase in Australians who do not claim a religion. 

September 17, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Sep 17, 2007 / 10:23 am (CNA) .- Organizers of the next World Youth Day in Sydney, which will be held July 15-20, report that some two thousand handicapped young people have registered to participate in the event.

September 6, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Sep 6, 2007 / 10:59 am (CNA) .- Australian Supreme Court Justice George Palmer has composed the music for the World Youth Day 2008 closing Mass with Pope Benedict XVI at Randwick Racecourse.

August 31, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Aug 31, 2007 / 10:31 am (CNA) .- The head of the provincial government of New South Wales, Premier Morris Iemma, has ruled out moving next year's World Youth Day rally from Randwick Racecourse, despite concerns about the impact on a racing industry already reeling from the equine influenza outbreak, reported The Age.

August 29, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Aug 29, 2007 / 11:05 am (CNA) .- The dispute continues over whether the World Youth Day closing Mass with Pope Benedict XVI will be held at Randwick racecourse.

August 27, 2007

Rome, Italy, Aug 27, 2007 / 11:14 am (CNA) .- Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney said recently, “Information from Denver suggests that five to ten years after the WYD that took place in that city, the event continued to influence those who participated.  We hope for this type of long-term evangelization.”

August 13, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Aug 13, 2007 / 02:38 pm (CNA) .- Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced an additional $15-million government contribution to support the international World Youth Day gathering next year, reported The Age.

July 31, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Jul 31, 2007 / 11:02 am (CNA) .- Catholic Church officials said they will not cooperate with a safe-sex campaign directed at the 500,000 pilgrims expected to attend World Youth Day in Sydney next year, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.

July 16, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Jul 16, 2007 / 10:03 am (CNA) .- Organizers of World Youth Day (WYD) 2008, to be held in Sydney, Australia, have launched a program called HomeStay to provide housing for the thousands of young people set to attend the event. 

July 6, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Jul 6, 2007 / 11:26 am (CNA) .- Organizers of World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney would have to find a new venue for the papal vigil and closing Mass if trainers at Randwick racecourse were to have their way.

July 4, 2007

Vatican City, Jul 4, 2007 / 08:45 am (CNA) .- At the end of today's general audience, the Pope addressed all young people who are preparing for the next World Youth Day with a message of encouragement to grow deeper in the faith and a challenge to share that faith with others.

July 2, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Jul 2, 2007 / 09:20 am (CNA) .- Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney called the arrival on July 1 of the World Youth Day Cross and the icon of the Virgin Mary to the Australian capital a “historic milestone” and said “young people from all over the country are preparing for the arrival and pilgrimage that will follow.”

May 16, 2007

Sydney, Australia, May 16, 2007 / 01:20 pm (CNA) .- The official hymn for World Youth Day in 2008 has just been chosen. “Receive the Power” is the title of the official hymn for the celebration of the 23rd World Youth Day in Sydney. The song was written by young Australian composer Guy Sebastian. “We were looking for a hymn which would be involving and inspiring”, WYD 2008 co-ordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher OP explained.

April 10, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Apr 10, 2007 / 11:55 am (CNA) .- Last March 2nd registration opened for World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney.  After a little more than a month, more than 57,000 people have signup to attend the world event which will take place in the Australian capital in July of next year.

March 5, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Mar 5, 2007 / 10:50 am (CNA) .- World Youth Day 2008 organizers have officially opened group registrations for the international Catholic youth event, to be held in Sydney, Australia, next July 15 to 20.

March 2, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Mar 2, 2007 / 12:21 pm (CNA) .- World Youth Day has given a sense of hope and purpose to a community of senior men.

March 1, 2007

Seoul, South Korea, Mar 1, 2007 / 12:33 pm (CNA) .- Gathered around the World Youth Day Cross, on a barricaded bridge that divides North and South Korea, about 100 South Korean young people prayed for the reunification of the two countries.

February 5, 2007

Vatican City, Feb 5, 2007 / 01:40 pm (CNA) .- In preparation for this year’s World Youth Day, to be celebrated on Palm Sunday, April 1st, in all Catholic Dioceses of the world, Pope Benedict XVI offered a reflection on the theme, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”  The Holy Father challenged the world’s Catholic youth to look at Christ’s love demonstrated on the Cross and to “dare to love,” through a life of service, prayer, and charity. The Holy Father also invited young people to take the opportunity of this year’s diocesan-based World Youth Day to prepare for 2008’s gathering in Sydney, Australia. 

February 2, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Feb 2, 2007 / 11:06 am (CNA) .- The coordinator of World Youth Day 2008 (WYD), Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, announced this week that financial aid will be available for young people from poor countries who desire to attend the event.

January 17, 2007

Sydney, Australia, Jan 17, 2007 / 10:04 am (CNA) .- Sexuality and marital love are the topics of this month’s issue of the World Youth Day 2008 online newsletter. The eight-page “E-pilgrimage” also includes a prayerful reading of the Song of Songs and a biography of the first married couple to be beatified together.

October 17, 2006

Sydney, Australia, Oct 17, 2006 / 12:00 am (CNA) .- Plans for World Youth Day in July 2008 are going well, reports Cardinal George Pell of Sydney in his recent column, published in Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph.

June 21, 2006

Bogotá, Colombia, Jun 21, 2006 / 12:00 am (CNA) .- Young people in Colombia are preparing to take part in the National Buga Pilgrimage, June 30-July 2 in order to gear-up for the next World Youth Day, which will be held in Sydney, Australia, in 2008.

May 5, 2006

Rome, Italy, May 5, 2006 / 12:00 am (CNA) .- The official World Youth Day Cross, which is currently visiting countries in Africa on its way to Sydney for next World Youth Day celebration to be held in 2008, was damaged in Senegal when the vehicle that was carrying it was involved in an accident.

December 6, 2005

Sydney, Australia, Dec 6, 2005 / 12:00 am (CNA) .- The Archdiocese of Sydney presided over by Cardinal George Pell, launched this Tuesday the official website for the next World Youth Day (WYD), which will take place in Australia from July 15 to 20th 2008.

August 26, 2005

Sydney, Australia, Aug 26, 2005 / 12:00 am (CNA) .- Dozens of university students in Australia have already come forth and offered to volunteer for World Youth Day 2008, saying they are confident the event will be a success.

August 24, 2005

Sydney, Australia, Aug 24, 2005 / 12:00 am (CNA) .- Australian university students have pledged to volunteer and work toward making World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, Australia, a success. The students were responding to some people who have voiced negative criticisms about the financial cost of the event.

Cologne, Germany, Aug 24, 2005 / 12:00 am (CNA) .- The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell expressed his confidence that “WYD Sydney 2008” will strengthen the faith of young Catholics in Australia and that they will attract above all those young Australians without any firm religious convictions.

August 22, 2005

Cologne, Germany, Aug 22, 2005 / 12:00 am (CNA) .- At the end of the Pope’s homily, the appreciative crowd chanted “Benedetto.” The sun finally made its appearance at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer, and pilgrims began to remove some of the layers they had piled on against the cold.

Cologne, Germany, Aug 22, 2005 / 12:00 am (CNA) .- Elated Australians joined their equally excited Cardinal Sunday, as Pope Benedict XVI confirmed the much-speculated reports that Sydney had indeed been chosen as the site for the 2008 World Youth Day.

August 19, 2005

Victoria, Canada, Aug 19, 2005 / 12:00 am (CNA) .- An Australian based “Catholic” AIDS charity, known for their dissent from Church teaching and support of condoms to fight HIV/AIDS, has expressed their disappointment in the choice of Sydney as the host of the 2008 World Youth Day, saying that Africa would be more appropriate.

August 17, 2005

Cologne, Germany, Aug 17, 2005 / 12:00 am (CNA) .- Australian youth received news from their prime minister, John Howard, that the next World Youth Day is set to take place in Australia.

August 9, 2005

Sydney, Australia, Aug 9, 2005 / 12:00 am (CNA) .- Although the location of the next World Youth Day has not yet been made public, Cardinal George Pell of Sydney has asked Mel Gibson to recreate the Passion of the Christ there for a World Youth Day in 2008.