“A SPANISH flavour” began the World Youth Day 2011 “Vivid” launch in Brisbane archdiocese on August 21.
About 200 people gathered at Padua College, Kedron, to mark official preparations for the August 2011 event in Madrid.
Southport associate pastor Fr Jason Middleton celebrated Mass as part of Vivid and spoke of his past World Youth Day experiences.
A member of Brisbane archdiocese’s Youth and Children’s Ministry team Christine Anderson said other highlights were an authentic Spanish meal and dancing, testimonies from past World Youth Day pilgrims and the provision of information about attending next year’s event.
“During the meal break participants were treated to the delights of a vast array of delicious tapas, including tortilla … chorizo and albondigas in salsa,” she said.
“(And) Kiri Groeneveld and Tyrone Anderson dramatically linked the World Youth Day 2011 information through a humorous and entertaining creative dialogue.
“They played the parts of two young people discussing what World Youth Day is, how it changes your life and how to get to Madrid in August 2011.”
Former World Youth Day pilgrims Libby Forbes and Terrance Britt spoke of attending the gatherings in Sydney and Rome.
“Their testimonies were inspirational,” Christine said.
Libby spoke of World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008 as “a physical manifestation of the universal Church” providing the platform to “live out” her faith.
“World Youth Day was, is, the journey of a lifetime,” Libby said.
“It is a journey in three senses – a physical journey … a personal journey … and a journey of faith, closer to Christ.”
Lisa’s challenge to the youth assembled was that a journey begins “with a single step”.
Terrance spoke of heading to Rome in 2000 on a pilgrimage with Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane.
He said visiting the Holy Land prior to the event had “brought the Bible to life”. He spoke of the “special permission” granted to the group to travel through one of the exclusion zones, and stopping beside the River Jordan and renewing their baptismal promises.
Diocesan youth ministry co-ordinator Michael Hart said Vivid was a “tremendous way” to begin preparations for next year’s pilgrimage.
“The Vivid World Youth Day launch was a fiesta of food, music and story,” he said.
“It was inspiring to see so many young people excited about the opportunity to travel with Archbishop Bathersby to Madrid next year.”
Mr Hart outlined some of the pilgrimages on offer in conjunction with the Queensland bishops.
One is a direct pilgrimage of 12 days duration including World Youth Day events and accommodation at a university (priced from about $5190).
The second option runs for 16 days and has the additional benefit of attending a Days in the Diocese program in Spain (cost is about $4990).
Pilgrims on the 23-day package will visit Jordan, Israel and Egypt before arrival in Spain and will be accompanied by Archbishop Bathersby and other Queensland bishops (about $6790).
Kingston-Marsden parish is hopeful of a number of youth attending World Youth Day in Madrid while Logan deanery has set a target of 30 pilgrims.
The Youth and Children’s Ministry team will also be offering deanery information sessions and formation days to follow up Vivid.
Their final Vivid 2010 event will be held in the St Stephen’s Cathedral precinct on October 17, linking in with Blessed Mary MacKillop’s canonisation.
For more information about WYD 2011 and the Queensland pilgrimage options go to www.wydbrisbane.org.au or contact the Youth and Children’s Ministry team on (07) 3109 6800.
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