Tuesday, August 2, 2011

And the countdown continues!

Buenos dias! (Good morning!),

Just checking in with some fun facts as we are tying up loose ends and setting our sights on Aug. 10. Nine days and counting...

Did you know that as of July 29, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), there were 29,437 pilgrims from the U.S. who were registered to attend WYD? One hundred and twenty of those are from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. How exciting! And did you further know that 64 U.S. bishops, including our own Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, will be joining us for the spectacular five-day event in Madrid?

Here are some other stats from the USCCB's article out of Washington — "WYD will include 967 groups from the United States, representing diverse cohorts including Hispanic, Korean, Vietnamese and Polish youths. The largest single group, the Catholic Pilgrims Office, has 1,535 planning to attend. The largest diocesan groups in attendance will be from Brooklyn, New York (636 pilgrims), New York (245), Boston (270), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (240), Pittsburgh (245) and Arlington, Virginia (285)."

At 120, the group from our diocese will be a viable force on this spiritual pilgrimage toward God.

This year represents the 12th international WYD held since 1986 when Pope John Paul II instituted this world event for youth. The international events are generally held every two-three years. Here is a chronology of these past gatherings:

1986- Rome, Italy
1987- Buenos Aires, Argentina
1989- Santiago de Compostela, Spain
1991- Czestochowa, Poland
1993- Denver. USA
1995- Manila, Philippines
1997- Paris, France
2000- Rome, Italy
2002-Toronto, Canada
2005- Cologne, Germany
2008- Sydney, Australia
2011- Madrid, Spain

I suspect it will be a remarkable trip to Madrid!!!

So this year as we gather to learn more about our universal Church and share our faith with youth from across the globe, we celebrate a once-in-a-life time liturgy with Pope Benedict XVI himself, who brings to us 60 years of priestly life. Yep, our beloved pope celebrates his 60th jubilee of ordination into the priesthood this year. And apparently he's as excited about the WYD backpacks as we are!

One last item I'd like to share — a list of the notable saints of Spain. 
What holy and remarkable people have walked before us in 
service to our Lord. They are definitely worth a little investigation.  

And be sure to check out the Catholic Bishops' official site at

Ok, as we move toward Madrid, we've got a lot to think and pray about.

Come join us!

Hasta pronto! (See you soon!)

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