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Chicago Young People to Participate in World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid and Chicago

– Catholic teens and young adults from across the Archdiocese of Chicago are preparing to attend World Youth Day 2011 Madrid, August 16 to 21. Those unable to make the trip will celebrate with events in Chicago. Young people ages 16 and older are all invited to attend the various World Youth Day 2011 celebrations.

The Archdiocesan sponsored, nine-day trip to Madrid beings on Friday, August 14, with departure from Chicago. Days and nights in Madrid will include daily Mass, catechesis, festivals, walking tours, and all the events scheduled with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, including the welcoming ceremony, evening Candlelight Vigil and the Closing Mass.

World Youth Day – Chicago Region is being planned to emulate the events in Madrid with young pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Chicago, the state of Illinois and the surrounding states of Wisconsin and Indiana. This special regional initiative will take place in the Archdiocese on August 20 and 21, during which the youth will view a telecast of the Holy Father’s homily at the Closing Mass in Madrid. Seven Catechetical Sessions on various topics related to the pilgrimage will be held in the Archdiocese between January and May to prepare those who will participate locally or in Spain at World Youth Day. Chicago area participants will also have the opportunity to participate in prayer and reflections when the Traveling Cross, crafted and donated by St. Aloysius Parish in Chicago, makes its way to the sessions and to prayer services and Masses at various parishes throughout the Archdiocese.*

World Youth Day is a weeklong spiritual journey during which teen and young adult pilgrims from all over the world unite to share their faith. The week includes prayer, song, concerts, drama, sharing, liturgy, catechesis, and a vigil and closing Mass with the Holy Father. In 1984, Pope John Paul II invited young people from all over the world to participate in a pilgrimage to Rome for the first World Youth Day. Since then it has been held in Argentina (’87), Spain (’89), Poland (’91), United States (’93), Philippines (’95), France (’97), Italy (’00), Canada (’02), Germany (’05), and Australia (’08).

More information and registration for the Archdiocese of Chicago’s planned pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid can be found on the Youth Ministry’s web pages on the Archdiocesan website, or contact the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry at 312-534-3700 or

The official website for World Youth Day Madrid is

Youth Ministry is an integral part of the Archdiocesan Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry in the Department of Parish Life and Formation that provides advocacy, leadership formation, and vision for catechesis and youth ministry. The Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry serves as a resource for each Archdiocesan parish, deanery, and Vicariate through Vicariate Coordinators of Youth Ministry.

* St. Aloysius Parish was not able to provide the Archdiocese of Chicago World Youth Day Cross. The original cross, made in 2008, will, therefore, be used for catechetical sessions, and other festivities in the Archdiocese of Chicago leading up to World Youth Day.

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