WORLD Youth Day (WYD) 2008 in Sydney became less of an abstract concept in the first of four Brisbane archdiocesan training days that started on March 31.
More than 350 people attended Clairvaux MacKillop College, Upper Mt Gravatt, to focus on particular aspects of the WYD experience.
With representatives from 13 deaneries and more than 40 parishes, the day was divided into three streams.
Participation in Sydney gave an idea of what to expect as either a pilgrim leader or participant.
Veteran of two pilgrimages, St Peter’s Primary School, Rochedale, teacher Liz Hill, told of her unforgettable WYD experience of sitting in a crowded car park in Rome in 2000.
She said she could not speak a word of the language to those around her, and yet somehow she was still able to communicate with them.
She recounted seeing Pope John Paul II and the amazing sight of so many young people flocking around this one person.
Days in the Diocese will focus on the Brisbane program of WYD events taking place just before the pilgrimage to Sydney.
Brisbane WYD Secretariat guest management project officer Fran Byrne guided parishes and deaneries through hospitality requirements for welcoming young people from overseas and host families.
World Youth Day “champions” – young people who will be the faces and voices of WYD in Brisbane – concentrated on cultivating the energy of youth to carry forward the message of WYD to their peers at parish, secondary school or tertiary level.
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