A GROUP of 18 Catholic school students from Brisbane archdiocese is being sponsored to attend World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany.
Brisbane Catholic Education will sponsor the students to the tune of $1500 and fully fund two teachers to supervise the pilgrimage.
They will join the official Queensland pilgrimage being led by Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane, who had expressed a particular wish that students from Catholic schools participate in the Queensland pilgrimage.
Brisbane Catholic Education pilgrimage organiser Greg Sunter said students had to address a number of criteria and a selection panel before being chosen.
They also had to have the endorsement of their principals.
The pilgrimage of faith was a response to Pope John Paul II’s invitation to the world’s youth ‘to build a civilisation of love and justice’.
About 400,000 registered participants will pour into Germany from more than 120 countries during the six-day event from August 16-21.
More than 35 dioceses and youth groups will make up the Australian delegation.
Three of the students and one of the teachers come from Our Lady’s College, Annerley.
Principal Laura Keating said the college was overjoyed at the opportunity for three Year 11 girls, Caitlin Murphy, Laura Laurenzi and Jordan Sims-Connelan to take part in the experience of a lifetime.
Teacher Jessica Tammens, who is currently enrolled in the Annerley parish RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) program, will join them on the pilgrimage.
Ms Tammens said she believed that her own spiritual journey would be enhanced as she joins the world’s youth in the celebration of faith.
Ms Keating said the experience would be joyfully shared by the community of 400 girls and their teachers, most of whom will never have an opportunity to travel to Europe and join the Holy Father in celebrating a vigil on a scale such as that planned for World Youth Day.
‘It is an exciting and historically significant time for our Church as it embraces Pope John Paul II’s successor, Pope Benedict XVI, who will be present at the World Youth Day in Cologne,’ she said.
The other students who will go to Cologne are: Sarah Hartley and Ben Orreal from Siena College, Sippy Downs; Lauren McGann, Elaina Symeou, Greg Gommers and Adrian Richards from Marymount College, Burleigh Waters; Amanda Towell and Cassandra Garrett from San Sisto College, Carina; Kathryn King from St Mary’s College, Ipswich; Kaytlin Warner, Aiden O’Brien and Stephen Purcell from Carmel College, Thornlands; Nathan Dechnik from St Patrick’s College, Gympie; and James Roberts and Christopher Williams from St Michael’s College, Carrara.
The second teacher joining them will be Denise Gabbana from St Patrick’s College, Gympie.
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