Logo of the 2011 World Youth Day, which will be held in Madrid

Preparations for World Youth Day 2011 (WYD’11) are now in full swing, with young Singaporean Catholics taking part in fellowship sessions, and receiving spiritual input and direction.

Various Church groups are now holding regular activities for pilgrims to help them prepare spiritually for the international youth event to be held in Madrid, Spain, from Aug 16-21.

Over at the Church of St Francis of Assisi, participants have started meeting once or twice a month since January. They are scheduled to attend sessions with speakers, participate in Holy Hour, Eucharistic adoration, and have one-on-one spiritual direction under Daughter of St Paul Sr Jocelyn, the group’s spiritual director.

A day of recollection will be held before the trip to energise the pilgrims, said parish youth coordinator Joachim Liu.

Eighteen pilgrims are expected for the trip.

A group of young adults from the Church of Christ the King began their preparations last September.

Calling themselves W4 Pilgrims (Word, Worship, Works of Mercy and WYD’11), the young adults aged between 21 and 30 years have been meeting once a month for sessions and fellowship which include prayer and spiritual inputs.

The meetings will soon increase to twice a month.

Miss Genevieve Lee, who is looking forward to her first pilgrimage, says she finds the reflections in the sessions useful in preparing her for WYD’11, especially as she does not quite know what to expect for the international Church event.

Personal sharings also help her get to know the other pilgrims better, she added.

While the group has about 40 members, only 18 will be heading to WYD’11.

W4 is not just about World Youth Day, says Mr Edward Gunalan, a W4 core member. The community will continue to meet even after the event is over to further chart its direction with spiritual director Fr Kenny Tan, while keeping focused on the 3Ws – Word, Worship and Works of Mercy, he says.

The Catholic Archdiocesan Youth Centre is also organising a group that will depart on Aug 9. The trip includes a pilgrimage in Rome before heading towards WYD’11.

Their preparation starts on April 2 with a pilgrims’ gathering. Pre-departure events include Eucharistic adoration, spiritual preparation and a retreat. Registration closes on Jan 31.

A total of two million participants worldwide are expected to attend WYD’11 which is held every two to three years.

By Darren Boon
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