WASHINGTON (September 18, 1998)--Young people from 36 dioceses across the country will represent the United States at the Continental Youth/Young Adult Gathering in Santiago, Chile, Oct. 6-11. Daily reports, interviews with participants and photos will be available via the Web page of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/U.S. Catholic Conference. The Continental Youth/Young Adult Gathering page can be accessed at:
In preparation for the Third Millennium, 1998 has been designated the Year of the Holy Spirit. The Gathering's theme is "The Holy Spirit Will Reveal All Things To You." The objectives 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 the sense of belonging to the Church for young people.
Preparatory materials were sent to participating countries asking that pilgrims arrive with their visions of what the Church will be like in the Third Millennium. During the week participants will share pictures, videos, and stories of experiences of youth and young adult groups in their home countries.
The Continental Youth/Young Adult Gathering will be an immersion experience. Young people will live with families or in parish halls and participate integrally with their hosts. The gathering will be service-oriented with young people involved in such efforts as building 1,000 homes, planting 500,000 trees and visiting the elderly and children in orphanages. In addition, there will be discussion and theological reflection on the role of youth and young adults in the Church today and exploration of what youth and young adult ministry should look like approaching the year 2000.
During the first four days, the Gathering will be held in the Archdiocese of Santiago, Chile, and in the five neighboring dioceses: Melipilla, Rancagua, San Bernardo, San Filipe and Valparaiso. On Saturday and Sunday, participants will gather in Santiago for the Vigil and Mass. Two young people from each country will be confirmed during the closing Mass. Representing the United States will be Jenny Rivera, 21, from St. Gerard Majella parish in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Nathaniel Earl Bean, 17, of Sitka, Alaska, from St. Gregory Nazianzen parish in the Diocese of Juneau.
Other participating (arch)dioceses are: Albany, NY; Baltimore, MD; Belleville, IL; Boston, MA; Brooklyn, NY; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; Dubuque, IA; Duluth, MN; Kansas City, KS; Knoxville, TN; Lake Charles, LA; Lansing, MI; Madison, WI; Miami, FL; Milwaukee, WI; New York, NY; Newark, NJ; Oakland, CA; Palm Beach, FL; Paterson, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburg, PA; Sacramento, CA; San Antonio, TX; San Bernadino, CA; Fort Wayne-South Bend, IN; St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN; Syracuse, NY; Washinton, DC; Wichita, KS; Wilmington, DE; and Venice, FL.
The U.S. youth and young adult participants will be joined by Bishop Roger L. Schwietz of Duluth, Chair of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Youth Subcommittee, Auxiliary Bishop Emilio S. Allué of Boston, and Auxiliary Bishop John R. Manz of Chicago.
The Vigil Service and closing Mass will be available on cable/satellite via Señal Internacional de Canal 13 de la Corporación de Televisión de la Universidad Católica de Chile, Señal Internacional de Televisión Nacional de Chile and by EWTN (Spanish) TV. Local cable and/or satellite companies can provide listing and times.