Looking Ahead World Youth Day 2011 Madrid

XXVI World Youth DayImage via Wikipedia
World Youth Day, this year on August 16th -21st draws young people from around the world, to celebrate and learn about the Catholic Church. The event started in 1984 and meets every 2 -3 years, in a different country with hundreds of thousands of people at the exuberant festival of faith.

Classes are given by bishops in 30 different languages. There is a Papal welcome , the Way of the Cross, a nighttime vigil and a large closing Mass with the Pope.

For people unable to travel, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has organized a virtual pilgrimage on Facebook.

It's not just for Catholics.

For some, it’s an opportunity to gather with young people from around the globe. For others, it holds the hope of finding God’s direction for their life. And for others, the plan is to let the event unfold as God wants it. 

Whatever the difficult issues and crises that surround our faith and institutional church I find the faces of the young people in these videos and their enthusiasm for their faith uplifting and really give me cause for hope.

The Official Website for World Youth Day 2011 is here and link here to a few questions and answers  

I have already posted on the World Youth Day Not Woodstock debacle here and would still welcome your comments on this.  

The video below showcases some of the best songs of WYD

Official theme hymn " Firm in The Faith "for the World Youth Day is available here in Spanish.

Busted Halo website do a good job here in 2 minutes

Song in this following promotional video is by Matt Maher.
(Annoying ad at the beginning!)

Maria Naranjo is also attending her second World Youth Day. This time, she’s leading some 50 people traveling with a private travel group to Madrid from Alabama and Pennsylvania.
“It was the first time I experienced the universality of my faith,” said Naranjo,
There are millions of young people “on fire” with the faith, she said. “It’s almost magical. It’s a holy experience,” she said. “You want more.”

Jeff Roche, who attends St. Michael Church, Gainesville, attended his first World Youth Day in 1997 when he was a teenager and hasn’t missed one.
“For me, it’s always a good experience. When I do go I see how much they help me. They always come at a time in my life when I really need it,” said Roche, 28, who faces a crossroads decision after returning home from college with questions about what the future holds.
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