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August 9, 2005

300 Young Catholics From Philadelphia Traveling to Germany for World Youth Day

Hundreds of Philadelphians are preparing to meet Pope Benedict XVI and an expected 800,000 young Catholics in Germany for World Youth Day, August 21, 2005. One group of 45 Catholic youths and young adults will travel together to the international event for young people in Cologne, Germany.

A chartered bus for 45 Philadelphia Catholics departs Sunday, August 14, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. from the Archdiocesan Office Center, 222 North 17th Street. It travels to New York where participants board a flight to Cologne, Germany. The bus returns to the Office Center on Monday, August 22, 2005 at approximately 7:30 p.m.

The group is part of a contingent of 302 Catholics from across the Archdiocese, representing 14 parish and school youth groups, colleges and families. Most pilgrims on the trip are young adults of college age; only 14 attend high school. All raised their own money for the trip, plus donations from parishes and other interested sponsors. The St. Martin de Porres Foundation is sponsoring six African American Catholics for the trip.

Cardinal Justin Rigali will also attend World Youth Day. He will celebrate Mass for the Philadelphia contingent with a morning Mass on Saturday, August 20 in Cologne. Following Mass and testimonies of faith by the youths, the Cardinal will bless them as they depart on a three- to five-mile hike to the city's central pilgrimage site.

World Youth Day, instituted by Pope John Paul II and held every two to three years, consists of nearly a week of spiritual, educational and cultural events designed to help young people from around the world learn about each other and their faith.

Events include days of education, questions and answers, personal faith testimony, music and cultural festivals, Masses and prayer services. They culminate with the hike and overnight gathering to the site where Pope Benedict will celebrate Mass on August 21.


Matthew Gambino
Associate Director

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