Jul 112008

Australia has approximately 5.12 million Catholics in 1,363

parishes. This is approximately 26% of the population

Australia has 28 territorial Dioceses, four Dioceses of Eastern

Catholic Churches and one military Diocese

There are around 1.5 million Catholics in the four dioceses across

the greater Sydney region

The Archdiocese of Sydney has almost 600,000 Catholics in some

141 parishes with 480 priests

World Youth Day Sydney 2008 Fact Sheet

Jul 092008

Journey of the World Youth Day Cross and Icon of Our Lady


1 July 2007 – 15 July 2008

The World Youth Day Cross and Icon are the travelling

symbols of World Youth Day. Pope John Paul II gave the

Cross as a gift to the youth of the world in 1984 to be carried

across continents as a symbol of Christ’s love for humanity

Since 2003, the Cross has been accompanied by the Icon of

Our Lady, a copy of the painting Salus Populi Romani

(Protectress of the Roman People), a gift from Pope John

Paul II to the youth of the world.

Considered the ‘Olympic Torch’ of World Youth Day, the

Cross and Icon arrived in Australia on 1 July 2007 and are

currently travelling through every diocese in the country.

An indigenous Message Stick is accompanying the Cross and

Icon throughout its Australian journey. The Message Stick is

an invitation from the indigenous people of Sydney to the

indigenous youth of Australia to attend WYD08.

The Cross, Icon and Message Stick will journey across

Australia for 12 months, visiting some 400 communities.

Key JCI statistics: 1 July 2007– 20 May 2008

2 JCI Travelling Teams

325 days

29 dioceses (including the Military Diocese and Maronite Diocese)

30 Communities and movements

c. 65 000kms (including flights)

c. 2300 events

280 – 380,000 people directly present to Cross & Icon

 15 Day Walk 1 – 15 July

The Cross and Icon return to Sydney on 1 July for a 15 Day

Walk through the suburbs of Sydney.

This event will be similar to the Olympic Torch Relay and

will culminate in the official walk-in at the Opening Mass

Days in the Dioceses 10 – 14 July

Days in the Dioceses is an opportunity for dioceses across

Australia and New Zealand to host visiting groups of pilgrims

in the days preceding WYD08. It is a cultural exchange in the

context of faith, and will bring WYD08 to every corner of

Australia and New Zealand.

The Archdiocese of Melbourne, for example, is planning to

attract 25,000 overseas pilgrims for its Days in the Dioceses

events. It also has its own volunteer and billeting program.

Days in the Dioceses will also have the practical benefit of

easing international pilgrim entry into Sydney, by allowing for

staggered access via road and rail.

World Youth Day Sydney 2008 Fact Sheet

Jul 052008

Up to 225,000 registered pilgrims are expected to take part in WYD08

events each day, including 125,000 international visitors.

100,000 Australian pilgrims are expected, including 40,000 from

greater Sydney

An estimated 8,000 volunteers will assist

An estimated 2,000 clergy will be present

An estimated 500 Cardinals and Bishops will be present

Around 3,000 media are expected to cover the event

3.5 million meals will be served to pilgrims

100,000 will sleep in 700 schools and parishes

Up to 40,000 will be billeted as part of the HomeStay program

Approximately 20,000 will stay in paid accommodation such as

hostels, boarding houses, hotels and backpacker accommodation. The

remainder will make their own arrangements.

Up to 500,000 people are expected to attend the Final Mass at

Randwick Racecourse and Centennial Park (which is open to all)

Randwick Racecourse and Centennial Park will be united in name as

the “Southern Cross Precinct” for the Vigil and Final Mass.

4000 toilets for Southern Cross Precinct (Randwick Racecourse and

Centennial Park)

35 large video screens for Southern Cross Precinct

60 lighting towers for Southern Cross Precinct

The four official WYD08 languages are: English, French, Italian and


Door-drops to half a million Sydney homes, inviting them to volunteer,

become a HomeStay host or attend events during the WYD08 week

WYD08 will be the most technological event ever, with the Pope to

send text messages to all registered pilgrims and digital Prayer Walls

available as well

100 actors taking part in the Stations of the Cross performance

500 chasubles for the Bishops and Cardinals made

2000 stoles for the priests

1 million communion hosts to be made

120 bottles of wine (total) for the Opening Mass and Final Mass

World Youth Day Sydney 2008 Fact Sheet

Jul 032008

World Youth Day Sydney 2008 (WYD08) will be held from Tuesday 15

to Sunday 20 July

Sydney was announced as the host city for the 23rd World Youth Day

at the conclusion of the last international World Youth Day in Cologne,

Germany in August 2005

WYD08 will be the largest event Australia has hosted. It will attract

over 125,000 international visitors – more than the 2000 Olympics

WYD08 will mark the first visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to


The Archdiocese of Sydney has established the World Youth Day Trust

to prepare for WYD08.

The event has the strong support of the NSW and Australian


The NSW Government has created a special agency – the World Youth

Day Coordination Authority (WYDCA) – to plan and manage the

services it will provide for the event.

The NSW Government is responsible for providing public transport,

policing, emergency healthcare and venues

The Australian Government is responsible for Papal security and


WYD08 events will take place in venues across Sydney. The majority

of pilgrims will sleep at over 700 venues (classrooms and community

halls) in greater Sydney and receive morning Catechesis (or teaching)

at 300 venues near their accommodation.

After lunch, pilgrims will make their way into the city for the major

WYD08 events and Youth Festival activities. Sydney CBD venues

include Barangaroo (East Darling Harbour), Hyde Park, The Domain,

Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour and Circular Quay.

World Youth Day Sydney 2008 Fact Sheet

Jul 012008

World Youth Day has been held in the following host cities:

1987 11-12 April – Buenos Aires ARGENTINA 

Theme: “We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves” (1Jn 4:16)

1989 15-20 August Santiago de Compostela SPAIN 

Theme: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14:6)

1991 10-15 August Czestochowa POLAND — 1.6 million

 Theme: “You have received a spirit of sonship” (Rom 8:15)

1993 10-15 August Denver USA — 500,000

Theme: “I came that they might have life, and have it to the full” (Jn 10:10)

1995 10-15 January Manila PHILIPPINES — 4 million

Theme: “As the Father sent me, so am I sending you” (Jn 20: 21)

1997 19-24 August Paris FRANCE — 1.2 million

Theme: “Teacher, where are you staying? Come and see” (cf. Jn 1:38-39)

2000 15-20 August Rome  Jubilee Year ITALY — 2 million

Theme: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14)

2002 23-28 July Toronto CANADA — 800,000

Theme: “You are the salt of the earth … you are the light of the world” (Mt 5: 13,14)

2005 16-21 August Cologne GERMANY — 1.2 million

Theme: “We have come to worship Him” (Mt 2,2)

2008 15-20 July Sydney AUSTRALIA Expecting 500,000

Theme: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1, 8)

The last WYD in Cologne featured:

– 435,000 registered pilgrims from 197 nations

– 23,000 volunteers from 120 nations

– 8,000 accredited media

– 800 Cardinals and Bishops

World Youth Day Sydney 2008 Fact Sheet

Jun 302008

The first World Youth Day was held in Rome in 1986 on Palm Sunday.

Every year since, World Youth Day has been celebrated at a Diocesan


Every two to three years, World Youth Day is taken to an international

host city. The international World Youth Days are a week-long series of

events attended by the Pope and hundreds of thousands of young

people from all over the world.

The week culminates in a Final Mass celebrated by the Pope on the last day (the actual World Youth Day). Typically, it is the largest event of

the week and, overseas, has drawn millions of people.

The Pontifical Council for the Laity (PCL) – a key Vatican body – is

responsible for World Youth Days globally


Information taken from –

World Youth Day Sydney 2008 Fact Sheet

Jun 292008

Purpose of World Youth Day

World Youth Day was established by Pope John Paul II in 1986 as an

annual event to reach out to the youth of the world

Pope John Paul II was inspired by the massive gatherings of young

people in Rome for the 1984 Youth Jubilee and the 1985 United

Nations International Year of Youth. He wanted to bring together

young Catholics from around the globe to celebrate and learn about

their faith on a more regular basis.

Pope John Paul II saw World Youth Day as a way to reach out to the

next generation of Catholics, to demonstrate confidence in them, to

rejuvenate the Church and ensure that the core teachings of Christ

are transmitted and lived.

World Youth Day is a pilgrimage of faith, where young people from

diverse backgrounds meet and experience the love of God.

World Youth Day is an invitation from the Pope to the youth of the

world to celebrate their faith around a particular theme. Everyone is

welcome to attend

World Youth Day is now the largest youth event in the world

Information taken from –

World Youth Day Sydney 2008 Fact Sheet

Jun 152008

As at this posting there are 30 days to go for World Youth Day in Sydney.
Preparation for this event is amazing. In our own parish we are currently preparing for the pilgrims we are hosting in the week preceding WYD – Days In The Diocese. Our parish is hosting 91 Irish Pilgrims and 10 from Ghana …. and still counting. It’s an exciting time for all of us. I’ll be looking forward to meeting them all.

WYD08 will mark the first visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to Australia. WYD is an invitation from the Pope to the youth of the world to celebrate their faith around a particular theme. Everyone is welcome to attend.