I pray that all the parish and high school communities of the Archdiocese of Chicago are excited about the upcoming World Youth Day celebrations! Though we celebrate World Youth Day every year on Palm Sunday internationally, here in the United States it is celebrated on the 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time. However, the biggest celebrations happen every three years when Catholic youth make pilgrimage from all over the world to celebrate our faith and our love of Christ and His Church! So this month, Pope Benedict has invited the youth of the Catholic Church to gather in Madrid, Spain for the 13th international World Youth Day celebration.
I am blessed to be part of the close to 30,000 pilgrims from the United States who will be attending the World Youth Day celebration in Madrid. However, I am very happy for all those who will be staying here in the Chicagoland area because you will have a great opportunity to participate in World Youth Day Chicago Style II!
The first WYD Chicago Style took place in 2008 at St. Hyacinth Basilica while the international celebration was taking place in Sydney, Australia. We had over 800 local pilgrims gather to experience and celebrate the local Church. This year’s World Youth Day Chicago Style II, sponsored by the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry, will take place in Des Plaines, IL at Maryville-Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel and Shrine. I am excited that it will be an OVERNIGHT event from 9 p.m. on Saturday, August 20th to 7 a.m. Sunday, August 21st.
For a minimal fee of $20, you will get entrance into the event, a backpack with goodies, and a sandwich meal to be served after the Midnight Vigil Mass. Cardinal George, who will participate in the festivities in Madrid, will keep all World Youth Day pilgrims in prayer. There will be activities all night from musical and dance performances, catechetical sessions with dynamic speakers, devotions, games, and lots more!
World Youth Day Chicago Style II is the official kick-off date for the Year of Teens and Young Adults which is year one of the Archdiocesan Strategic Pastoral Plan. With the Archdiocese focusing on the importance of our young people to the Church, this event will highlight the joy and energy that the young Church reminds all of us that we should have when it comes to practicing and living out our faith. I believe this gathering will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our young people and our faith.
For more information about World Youth Day Chicago Style II, to check out the fun promotional video or to register online, go to the World Youth Day Chicago Style webpage.