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Pilgrims welcome

BRISBANE archdiocese’s World Youth Day Secretariat is seeking about 3500 families through parish and school communities to play host to overseas pilgrims in July in the lead-up to the international event in Sydney.

The families will host the pilgrims as part of the “BrizStay” program

BrizStay, officially launched in October, is the homestay element of ‘Days in the Diocese’, which will run from July 10 – 14 next year.

Days in the Diocese precedes the start of World Youth Day 2008 (WYD08) in Sydney and enables travelling pilgrims to sample life and culture in a diocese different to their own.

In May, Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby wrote a letter inviting young people from around the world to come and participate in our Days in the Diocese program.

Overseas pilgrim groups have responded with enormous enthusiasm and the archdiocese is preparing to receive up to 7000 visitors during this time.

The Brisbane WYD Secretariat has been able to gain an accurate indication of expected visitors because, as groups register for WYD08 in Sydney, they also nominate where they would like to undertake the Days in the Diocese program.

Overseas groups coming to Brisbane can also indicate via the local website whether they would like to be hosted in a city, coastal or country area.

Parishes and secondary schools throughout the archdiocese are being asked to become “host communities” throughout Days in the Diocese providing hospitality to overseas groups for the duration of their stay.

Ms Byrne said the role of BrizStay Hosts, and of deaneries, parishes and schools hosting Days in the Diocese events, should not be seen as daunting.

“Being a BrizStay Host involves providing accommodation, meals, transport to and from some events and just generally a sense of hospitality and willingness to open their homes to the young people in the time that they are here,” she said.

To register as a BrizStay Host visit www.wydbrisbane.org.au/brizstay or contact your local parish or secondary school.

Written by: Staff writers
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