Ten thousand New Zealanders join WYD in Sydney

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.

According to the Fides news agency, the number is extraordinary for the Church in New Zealand, since at past World Youth Days only a few hundred young people from the country were able to attend. The increase in the numbers this time around is due to the enthusiasm and commitment of young people to encourage their peers to attend.

Bishop Anthony Fisher, World Youth Day coordinator, said last week, “Excitement is high across the Pacific at the idea of hosting WYD for the first time.”

Each New Zealand diocese has formed a group of young people to serve as “Ambassadors of WYD” in a more active role representing their own country.