WASHINGTON (July 8, 1998) -- Two U.S. youth, Jenny Rivera, 21, of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Nathaniel Earl Bean, 17, of the Diocese of Juneau, Alaska, will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation during the Continental Youth Gathering, in Santiago, Chile, October 6-11, 1998.
The Continental Youth/Young Adult Gathering is a one-time gathering for young people in the American "continent" (North, Central, South and the Caribbean). About 500,000 young people, from their mid-teens through their thirties, are expected to participate in the event. It is planned as an immersion experience with youth living with families or in parish halls and participating integrally with their hosts. The official languages for the gathering will be Spanish, Portuguese and English.
The gathering will be service-oriented with youth building 1,000 homes, planting 500,000 trees, visiting the elderly, visiting orphaned children, and practicing other forms of Christian service.
The program also involves theological discussion on the role of youth and young adults in today's Church and what youth and young adult ministry should look like in the Third Millennium.
During the first four days, the Gathering will be held in the Archdiocese of Santiago, Chile, and in the five neighboring Dioceses of Melipilla, Rancagua, San Bernardo, San Filipe and Valparaiso. On Saturday and Sunday, October 10-11 all participants will gather in Santiago for a prayer vigil and Mass.
In preparing for the Third Millennium, Pope John Paul II has called 1998 the year of the Holy Spirit. The theme for the gathering is "The Holy Spirit Will Reveal All Things To You."
All lodging and meals in Chile will be provided for the participants. The registration fee is $35 (U.S.) Participants are responsible for their transportation to and from Santiago.
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) is the official focal point for registration in the United States. U.S. participants are asked to register by July 31. Additions to already registered groups may be made until September 1. Housing is being assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
Registration forms were forwarded to each Diocese in March for distribution to parishes. A copy of the registration form, along with more detailed information, is available on the website: www.nccbuscc.org/laity/youth/cyg.htm.
Persons with questions about the Gathering can contact the NCCB by calling 202-541-3042 (phone), 202-541-3176 (fax), or firstname.lastname@example.org (E-mail).
The objectives of the gathering include deepening and strengthening in youth and young adults the experience of Jesus as Good News, preparing the "young Church" for the Jubilee in the year 2000, and strengthening young people's sense of belonging to the Church.
Each country is asked to prepare for the event by reflecting on the future of young people in the Church. In the United States, participants may want to read the bishops' statements on youth ministry (Renewing The Vision) and on young adult ministry (Sons and Daughters of the Light), as well as the Subcommittee on the Third Millennium's statement (Open Wide the Doors).