Ten years ago, Pope Benedict XVI visited Sydney to celebrate World Youth Day – an event intended to reinvigorate parishes, schools and leadership within the Church in Australia. Source: MNnews.today.
The 23rd World Youth Day was celebrated in Sydney, July 15-20 2008. The festival marked the first WYD held in Oceania.
Nearly 500,000 young people from more than 200 countries took part in that week’s festivities. That number ballooned to more than one million during the weekend. In addition to the youth who attended, WYD08 attracted more than 600 bishops and cardinals as well as 6,600 reporters from around the world. Pope Benedict’s attendance was a major draw card.
Fr Chris Ryan MGL was the coordinator of the Journey of the World Youth Day Cross and Icon in 2007-2008, leading up to the main event in Sydney. He penned a reflection on his experience of WYD08 on the Office for Youth website.
“As I remember the preparations and the events of WYD08 I am grateful for the young people whose life the Holy Spirit touched, and who have gone on to take up the mission of Jesus Christ in countless ways,” Fr Ryan said.
“I think of young people who, from their involvement in WYD08 have gone to serve as youth ministers, priests, consecrated sisters, worked in the media to communicate the Gospel of the Church’s teaching, become leaders in the Church’s ministry to families and in the service of life … the list could go on.
“I am filled with gratitude when I remember these World Youth Day gifts to our Church. In fact, it is vital to remember these gifts if we are to look forward to the future with confidence.”
The next World Youth Day will be held in Panama next year.
World Youth Day: 10 years on (MNnews.today)
WYD08 ten years on (Office for Youth)
Celebrating 10 years on... the stories you never heard (Sydney Archdiocese)