Thousands already on way to WYD

Only 50 days after registrations opened, more than 1,000 groups representing 65,000 participants have already enrolled for next year's World Youth Day in Sydney, organisers say.

Organisers say they are delighted with the response, which indicates more than 65,000 pilgrims are already planning to attend the event from 15-20 July next year.

"Eventually, we're expecting around 200,000 people to formally register and up to 500,000 to attend at least one event during the week," said WYD Chief Operating Officer Danny Casey in a statement.

"So it's very encouraging to see more than 1,000 groups representing 65,000 pilgrims already registering to attend at this early stage."

Group registrations opened on 2 March - 500 days before the start of World Youth Day 2008 - to give WYD08 organisers a guide to expected demand for accommodation, catering and transport.

"Individual registrations will open in July; this is when pilgrims will have to provide individual details and can start making payments for their packages," Mr Casey said.

According to the statement, the US is the biggest source of groups, with 375 registrations, and pilgrims so far. Australia is next with 146 groups, representing 15,484 pilgrims.

The next biggest source countries are Canada (with 42 groups), Germany (34 groups), and the Philippines (25) - all previous WYD host nations, the statement added.

Almost 50,000 pilgrims (77 per cent) have nominated English as their preferred language, with 6,506 nominating Spanish (10 per cent) and 2601 preferring German (4 per cent).

WYD cross in Gizo

Meanwhile, reports are emerging from earthquake and tsunami ravaged Gizo in the Solomons concerning the visit of the WYD Cross and Icon of Our Lady.

"We welcome the Cross and Mary his mother who stood by the Cross in his moments of suffering and death", said Bishop Bernard O'Grady.

"All of us have been suffering very much. Our suffering today is joined with the suffering of Christ and the Cross.

"The Cross is the symbol of the reality that we have been going through and together with the Icon of our Blessed Mother, a very special painting, we celebrate reconciliation, peace, forgiveness, joy and hope", Bishop O'Grady concluded before a crowd of hundreds of local people.

1000+ groups register for World Youth Day 2008 in first 50 days (WYD08, 28/4/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
World Youth Day 2008
Gizo (Wikipedia)
Bishop Bernard O'Grady (Catholic Hierarchy)

Trainers seek $12 million compo over Benedict's WYD visit (CathNews, 23/4/07)
Telstra chief signs on for WYD (CathNews, 20/4/07)
Tsunami town welcomes WYD cross (CathNews, 19/4/07)
WYD Cross to visit tsunami-hit Gizo (CathNews, 5/4/07)
WYD Cross at N Korea border (CathNews, 1/3/07)
Race industry fears over WYD "chaos" (CathNews, 19/3/07)
Canberra parish launches live-in WYD community (CathNews, 6/3/07)
Free tourist visas for WYD participants (CathNews, 5/3/07)
500,000 crosses for WYD (CathNews, 2/3/07)
WYD Cross at N Korea border (CathNews, 1/3/07)
WYD to re-enact Jesus' passion and death (CathNews, 19/2/07)
Sydney adopts Olympic traffic standards for WYD (CathNews, 22/1/07)
WYD adopts solidarity pricing scheme (CathNews, 12/1/07)
NSW Parliament gives assent to WYD enabling legislation (4/12/06)
WYD08 in call for new generation of young leaders (CathNews, 2/11/06)
Charismatic Canadian bishop arrives to activate WYD school campaign (CathNews, 24/10/06)
Bridge walk for WYD08 pilgrims (6/10/06)
Musos to compete for WYD theme song (3/10/06)
World Youth Day sets up shop (CathNews, 27/9/06)
Sydney stretched for WYD08 space (CathNews, 25/9/06)
Married priests on agenda for new Eastern Rite bishops association (CathNews, 30/8/06)
Oceania bishops voice concern on climate change, AIDS (Cathnews, 15/8/06)
More places needed as 25,000 Americans expected for WYD08 (CathNews, 2/8/06)
Think big for WYD: NZ bishop (CathNews, 28/7/06)
Bishop Fisher unveils WYD plan (CathNews, 10/7/06)

30 Apr 2007

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From Parish of Our Lady of The Way, North Sydney & Lavender Bay. The first Mass of the day on YouTube

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