Toward Madrid – National WYD 2011 Committee begin preparations
The National Committee for World Youth Day (WYD) 2011 met for the first time on 12 March in preparation for Australia’s pilgrimage to the next WYD in Madrid.
Bishop Joseph Grech from the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life said the meeting was an important milestone in getting preparations underway.
‘For months now, a plan has been developed and approved by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) to support groups heading to WYD Madrid. This plan provides a framework for logistical, pastoral and safety requirements associated with attending international WYDs,’ said Bishop Grech.
‘WYD Madrid will be a different experience to WYD Sydney with an anticipated two million people attending amidst summer temperatures’ said Bishop Grech.
‘By appointing an experienced Official Tour Operator (Harvest Pilgrimages) and establishing the National WYD Committee, we can ensure groups have the best logistical preparation and practice, cost effective options, and have on-the-ground support in Madrid. The bishops encourage everyone to travel within this structure to ensure their safety, support and an overall cohesion for WYD Madrid’, he said.
The ten WYD Committee members come from a variety of backgrounds and will be directed over the coming 20 months by appointed Committee Chair, Selina Hasham who has been involved in Australia’s WYD journey over the past 20 years.
‘It is exciting to be preparing for our next WYD and a joy to be asked to chair the Committee’ said Selina. ‘With the coordinated support between Committee members, the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life and Harvest Pilgrimages, we can provide the necessary assistance to Australian young people travelling in pilgrimage groups’, she said.
The Committee will provide national resources in four main areas; Promotion, Pilgrimage Logistics, Pastoral Preparations and National Identity. Work in these areas is already underway.
Bernadette Kreutzer, the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life’s newly appointed National WYD Projects Officer has been asked by the Committee to implement two National Briefing Days to assist in communicating preparations for Madrid.
‘WYD Pilgrimage Coordinators are encouraged to attend two National Briefing Days in Sydney on Wednesday 12 May and Melbourne on 3 October, at the conclusion of the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention’, she said.
‘These days will convey the latest information and resources in relation to WYD Madrid and are important to Pilgrimage Coordinators’ roles.’
Information regarding Australian preparations for WYD Madrid will be outlined in a website and newsletter to be developed shortly. For further information please contact Bernadette Kreutzer, National WYD Projects Officer on 07 3109 6807 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Harvest Pilgrimages website at www.wydtours.com.