One Year to Youth Day 2008
FREE Catholic Classes
Interview With Auxiliary Bishop Fisher
SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 26, 2007 (Zenit) - Even though World Youth Day 2008 is still one year away, positive results are already being felt, according to the coordinator of the event.
In this interview with us, Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney comments on the status of the preparations for the youth day, and how one year out, the preliminary numbers for overseas pilgrims are already surpassing expectations.
Q: With one year remaining until World Youth Day to be held in Sydney from July 15 to 20, 2008, what do you see as the main priorities in coming months?
Bishop Fisher: The World Youth Day cross and icon have arrived in Australia and are already having an extraordinary impact. Bishops and parish priests are telling me that they have not seen such crowds of young people or such devotion for years. It is helping enormously both to raise awareness amongst ordinary people that World Youth Day is coming and in allowing young people to demonstrate that they do have and love their Catholic faith.
In the months ahead we will build on this. We want to get the message out not just to the "churched," but to the 95% of Australian Catholic youth who are not yet regular attendees, and the many others who are searching for truth and meaning.
Recently we have released the WYD08 theme song -- and this has been very well received -- we have opened individual registrations for WYD08, and we have launched an intensive campaign of Eucharistic adoration and other prayers for World Youth Day.
We are "upping" our efforts in evangelization and catechesis, with the use of the new technologies. And we must continue all the very important work in logistics, pilgrim services, liturgy planning, government and business partnerships, and so on.
Q: What are some of the positive effects for the Church in Australia you have seen so far as a result of the preparations for World Youth Day?
Bishop Fisher: Several of the bishops and parish priests have told me that even if WYD08 were not to proceed, there have already been tremendous, tangible fruits.
It has brought all sorts of people together who might not otherwise ever have come together, to work on a common project. It has inspired and excited young people and older ones about their faith and increased their confidence about the Church's future.
This already seems to be having some effects on interest in priestly and religious vocations, on youth ministry and youth groups, on local liturgical and parish life. And there is no doubt that among those preparing to come to WYD08 many have been reflecting with the ePilgrimage and other materials so that they will be formed and informed.
Q: The World Youth Day cross and icon are now starting a yearlong journey around Australia. What fruits is the Church hoping to obtain in this lead-up to July 2008?
Bishop Fisher: The World Youth Day cross and icon are the first WYD08 pilgrims. They have already arrived on our shores and are making their way to Sydney for July 2008.
Along the way they are drawing huge crowds behind them. Their effect is remarkable. Thousands of young people -- and with them, older people too -- are coming to touch and kiss and cry and reverence. They are praying near the cross and giving testimony to their Christian hope.
As cross and icon make their way through the more than 400 communities that plan to welcome them in the year ahead, Christ will touch many hearts. It will also be an opportunity to point forward to July next year. I like to imagine the cross and icon leading a procession to Sydney which is swelling every day with people from every nation, every tribe -- and every Australian community.
Q: One of the challenges for Sydney is the big distance from many other countries. In your journeys overseas to present the World Youth Day program what have you been able to see regarding the interest in making the trip to Australia?
Bishop Fisher: To our delight the interest from overseas has been greater than we had dared dream. I think the distance has turned out to be part of the attraction. Coming to WYD08 in Sydney will be unlike any previous WYD in terms of the sheer geographic and spiritual adventure for many of the pilgrims.
Many are seeing it as their opportunity to visit a place they would have loved to come to as tourists, but in this way they can come as spiritual pilgrims as well. As a result, our "phase one" registration -- group leaders' estimates -- suggests that we have already passed our original estimates for overseas pilgrims -- and we still have a year to go!
This could be the first World Youth Day with more international than local pilgrims -- which partly reflects the relatively small Catholic population here in Australia, but also reflects the tremendous interest from overseas.
Those international pilgrims will have a wonderful time here in Sydney with the Pope, the young people of the world, and above all with Christ. But they will also bring their own gifts of faith and culture to us and help draw in big crowds of Aussies. It is very exciting!
Q: What do you see as some of the main contributions young people can make to the life of the Church?
Bishop Fisher: The Church in every age needs the energy, creativity and passion of its young people. We have passed through a phase in Australia, as in much of the Western world, of a mixture of dogmatic secularism intolerant of religion and a softer -- and possibly more dangerous -- relativism, bored with or indifferent to the genuinely good and true and beautiful.
The new generation of young people can help lead us out of that. They will need evangelizing and may need additional formation and education in faith. But they will bring their gifts to service and leadership in the Church and perhaps fewer hang-ups than their parents' generation.
Despite the attempts of the secular culture to inoculate the young to religion by giving them small does of dead or nearly dead religion, St. Augustine has been proved right: The human heart will never rest until it rests in God -- and in his holy Church.
The enthusiasm of young people for World Youth Day is a dramatic demonstration of this. But there will be many quieter, enduring fruits in their lives, and in the lives of all those they encounter.
https://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Youth, Day, Pope, Australia, 2008, Fisher, Catholic
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,717
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Reading for Saturday, April 20th, 2019 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Saturday, April 20, 2019
- St. Marian: Saint of the Day for Saturday, April 20, 2019
- 'Living Lent': Good Friday
- 'Living Lent': EASTER SUNDAY - HE IS RISEN!
- Daily Reading for Sunday, April 21st, 2019 HD Video
- 'Living Lent': Holy Saturday
- Daily Reading for Friday, April 19th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, April 18th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.