MADISON -- “Planted and Built Up in Jesus Christ, Firm in the Faith.” With these words of the venerable Apostle St. Paul, the Holy Father once again is inviting young people from all over the world to join him in the international celebration of World Youth Day (WYD) in Madrid, Spain, August 16 to 21, 2011. WYD is a celebration of the youthfulness and future hopes of the Church.
Under the protection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the loving care of His Mother Mary, and the earthly guidance of our Holy Father, youth of the world will gather in Madrid to lift their voice out in a weeklong celebration of their deep faith in God.
As in past WYD celebrations, the Diocese of Madison and St. Paul’s University Catholic Center at UW Madison will be participating in next year’s WYD in Madrid. Registrations are already underway at www.madisondiocese.org/wyd, where information about the trip can be found and downloaded.
Choice of itineraries
The Diocese of Madison is giving pilgrims a choice of two itineraries, with both groups meeting up in Madrid during the WYD week of August 16 to 21, 2011.
The first group will be led by Fr. Eric Nielsen of St. Paul’s Catholic Center and Fr. Paul Ugo Arinze, director of the Office of Vocations for the diocese. This group will participate in the “Days in Diocese” program in Zaragoza, Spain, with a visit to Lourdes, before arriving in Madrid on August 15 for the WYD week.
The second group is led by Fr. Eric Sternberg of St. Paul Catholic Center. This group will hike the “Camino de Santiago” (Walk of Saint James). They will begin their hike in Barcelona, with a stop at Santiago de Compostela before arriving in Madrid on August 16 for the WYD week.
A third group is being organized by Edgewood High School in Madison. This group will accept pilgrims who are under 18 years old. Participants in the other two groups must be 18 by the time of the trip. Links about all three groups can be found on the diocesan Web site, too.
Experience of a lifetime
All young people, ages 18 to 35, are invited to consider this pilgrimage. WYD offers the opportunity to experience the universality of the Church. Who can forget the lasting friendships we all forged from the last WYD in Sydney, Australia, or the fun memories that live vividly in our minds from participating in that event?
WYD Madrid 2011 is shaping up to be another experience of a lifetime. The diocese will again be blessed again with the presence of some young priests from our diocese who will act as spiritual directors throughout the trip.
The best way to understand World Youth Day is to experience it as a participant.
Visit www.madisondiocese.org/wyd to learn more or register your interest.