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World Youth Day draws near


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World Youth Day gathers young people from around the world to build bridges of friendship and hope between continents, peoples and cultures.
Pope John Paul II established World Youth Day in 1986 as an annual event to reach out to the next generation of Catholics.
The first World Youth Day was held in Rome. It is celebrated every year in Rome at a Diocesan level and a major international celebration is held every 2-3 years in a different host city.
Sydney will host the XXIII World Youth Day and the 10th international World Youth Day

* Up to 500,000 people are expected to attend the Final Mass at Randwick Racecourse and Centennial Park (which is open to all)
* Up to 225,000 registered pilgrims are expected to take part in WYD08 events each day, including 125,000 international visitors.
* 100,000 Australian pilgrims are expected
* An estimated 8,000 volunteers will assist
* An estimated 2,000 clergy will be present
* An estimated 500 Cardinals and Bishops will be present
* 25 million food items will need to be prepared, packaged and distributed
* 3.5 million meals will be served to pilgrims
* 2.4 million serves of bread will be provided
* 250,000 cans of baked beans will be consumed
* Between 3,000 media are expected to cover the event
* World Youth Day attracts pilgrims from some 200 nations
* 100,000 will sleep in 700 schools and parishes
* Up to 40,000 will be billeted as part of the HomeStay program
* Approximately 20,000 will stay in paid accommodation such as hostels, boarding houses, hotels and backpacker accommodation. The remainder will make their own arrangements.
* The four official WYD08 languages are: English, French, Italian and Spanish
* Door-drops to half a million Sydney homes, inviting them to volunteer, become a HomeStay host or attend events during the WYD08 week
* WYD08 will be the most technological event ever, with the Pope to send text messages to all registered pilgrims and digital Prayer Walls available as well
* 100 actors taking part in the Stations of the Cross performance
* 500 chasubles for the Bishops and Cardinals made
* 2000 stoles for the priests
* 1 million communion hosts to be made.
* 120 bottles of wine (total) for the Opening Mass and Final Mass.
* Randwick Racecourse in Sydney's eastern suburbs has been selected as the site of the all-night Vigil and Final Mass to be celebrated by His Holiness. This site has been the location of three Papal Masses previously but is being extended to accommodate the largest ever crowd at a single event in Australian history. Randwick Racecourse and Centennial Park will be united in name as the “Southern Cross Precinct” for the Vigil and Final Mass. Randwick Racecourse has hosted the Rolling Stones, and some scenes from the film ‘Mission Impossible II’ were filmed there.
* 4000 toilets for Southern Cross Precinct (Randwick Racecourse and Centennial Park).
* 35 large video screens for Southern Cross Precinct.
* 60 lighting towers for Southern Cross Precinct.
* World Youth Day has proven to be the largest single, international mobilisation of young people the world has ever seen. In the days immediately prior to the World Youth Day programme of events 50,000 young people will journey from Melbourne to Sydney, half of them probably from overseas. If they all travel by bus, separated by the regulation 150 metres, the convoy will stretch for 150 kilometres. Perhaps the biggest peace time movement between Melbourne and Sydney.
* It will be the single biggest influx of visitors onto Australian shores for a single event, likely to bring an even number than for the Sydney Olympics. And they're not coming for a rock concert, they're not coming for a sporting context, they're coming as pilgrims as people have done so for thousands of years in all the great religious traditions, that is, tourists with a religious purpose.
* ‘’, the World Youth Day website, attracts about nine millions hits a month, 8.7 million hits in September (2007), that's 67 million hits since the site was opened. It has over 75,000 unique users each month putting it in the top 10 non-commercial websites in Australia (these website statistics from October 2007, source: ... 0_14.shtml).
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Next World Youth Day in Madrid?

Madrid Could Be Next Youth Day Venue
SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 14, 2008 ( Young people from Spain will have a less difficult time attending the next World Youth Day, according to a Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said in brief comments to the Spanish press that the youth of their country will have it "much easier" to participate in the next international youth day.

The Spanish news agency Veritas reported that even though it's not official, it's expected that Benedict XVI will announce at the end of World Youth Day in Sydney that the next encounter will take place in Madrid.

The agency said the statement was taken by journalists as a subtle affirmation from Father Lombardi of this rumor.
The NSW State government has enacted legislation that threatens a $5000.00 fine or jail if anyone:
"Annoys a pilgrim, or is deemed to annoy a pilgrim if a pilgrim had been present when the potential annoyance occurred."
Now if we could only enact that on the Camino Frances. That would thin down the numbers!

Seriously though - that's pretty OTT


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Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
This was the latest news on that legislation William.

The Australian Federal Court has ruled against controversial laws banning protesters from annoying World Youth Day pilgrims in a move hailed as a victory for civil liberties. NSW Premier Morris Iemma said the state government would not appeal today's court decision.
The Federal Court in Sydney took the unprecedented step of partially striking out clause 7.1(b) of the World Youth Day regulations, which made it a criminal offence to annoy pilgrims.
Protesters who refused to cease conduct which was deemed annoying could be fined up to $A5500 (NZ$7000).

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Thank goodness the NSW/Australian government still allows annoyance of those who are not pilgrims.
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