ORGANISERS of World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney have marked the “two years to go” milestone with the launch of a national pastoral preparation and education program.
Activ8 was unveiled by the co-ordinator of World Youth Day 2008, Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher, and provides a program of events, activities and materials developed to prepare young people for the event.
World Youth Day will be staged from July 15-20, 2008 and is expected to attract 500,000 participants, mainly from throughout Australia.
Pope Benedict XVI will make his first visit to Australia to preside at the closing Mass of World Youth Day 2008.
The name Activ8 refers to the Scripture reference chosen by him for the World Youth 2008 theme.
Acts 1:8 – “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses”.
Bishop Fisher said World Youth Day would be an extraordinary gift to the Church in Australia.
“We are going to fulfil the promise of this gift by ensuring over the next two years our young people are given every opportunity to prepare and be engaged with their religion through our parishes, youth groups, schools and homes.”
Bishop Fisher said a priority of the preparations was to deliver a broad and engaging program to ensure Catholic youth from all over Australia were invited and able to attend.
The first Activ8 materials are being distributed around Australia this week in the form of an introductory booklet and promotional DVD titled Get with the Spirit.
The material will be issued to parishes, schools and will also be available online.
The DVD provides an introduction to World Youth Day for Australians, showing its history, its elements and its impact on the lives of young people.
By next year the Activ8 program will include the Australia-wide tour of the World Youth Day Cross and Icon of Our Lady.
Activ8 will help each diocese prepare activities to receive the cross and icon as they tour the country in the lead up to the Sydney celebrations.
Young people can be a part of Activ8 by joining the ePILGRIMAGE, an initiative providing monthly online contact in the form of both spiritual and catechetical information as well as practical information for pilgrims to plan their journey to World Youth Day.
Details about the Activ8 programs and registrations for the ePILGRIMAGE are available at www.wyd2008.org
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