SINGAPORE – "World Youth Day is a wonderful opportunity to fall in love with the church," said Edwyn de Souza, a youth coordinator from the Youth Ministry Office at Catholic Archdiocesan Youth Centre (CAYC). He was speaking to about 50 people that comprised the CAYC contingent gathered for the first preparatory session held on Jan 19 at the youth centre at Lorong Low Koon.Edwyn listed out six salient points drawn from Pope Benedict XVI’s World Youth Day message.

1. Singapore participants represent their parish and the Archdiocese of Singapore. They go for this pilgrimage so that they may come back energized to stimulate their own youth groups, their parish, and the diocese.

2. World Youth Day is part of an ongoing purification. It allows participants to mature in love for each other.

3. The pope invites participants to go not as tourists, but as pilgrims. The purpose at this pilgrimage is to share Jesus with others.

4. World Youth Day is a time to acquire spiritual helps and religious knowledge so that participants can come back and share Jesus with other people.

5. Pray especially for those who have difficulties preparing financially and spiritually for this pilgrimage.

6. Finally, pray for the host nation of Australia, that there will be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the church in Australia, and that as a result, many youths will come back to the faith.

Two young adults who had their lives changed at the previous World Youth Day at Cologne in 2005 shared their experiences.

One of them, Jarvis Tan, who is currently working as the parish coordinator at Church of the Holy Spirit, said that he saw over a hundred flags from all nations being waved [during the Mass attended by about one million people] and he realized then that this commandment of Jesus to "Go, make disciples of all nations" is being fulfilled in the Catholic Church.
Several contingents?comprising Catholic youths and young adults from Singapore?will be making their way to Sydney this July for WYD 2008. Apart from the CAYC contingent, several parishes, including Risen Christ, St. Mary of the Angels, Immaculate Heart of Mary, and St. Joseph (Bukit Timah), and some youth ministries, such as NUS Catholic Students Society, have confirmed with CAYC that they will be sending contingents.

All the groups will meet together for three preparatory meetings.

The first will be held on Friday Mar 7, from 8.00-9.30pm, at the CAYC. Participants will reflect on the Stations of the Cross led by Father Luke Fong. The Stations held in Lent are a common feature in preparation for World Youth Day.

The second session will be Eucharistic adoration led by Father Valerian Cheong. It will be held on Saturday Apr 12, from 8.00-9.30pm at the Church of the Risen Christ.

The third and final session will be the commissioning by Archbishop Nicholas Chia. It will be held at the CAYC on Saturday Jun 21, from 7.30-9.30pm. -By Daniel Tay

 

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