WASHINGTON (May 5, 2000) -- Registrations are now being accepted for participants of World Youth Day 2000, slated for Rome, Italy, August 15-20.
All U.S. participants to register through the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in Washington.
"To date, over 13,000 pilgrims have registered from the United States" said, Michelle Miller, one of the coordinators of the U.S. participation. "The energy is high and the momentum is growing. The significance of this pilgrimage during the Jubilee Year brings added significance and excitement."
Several registration packages are offered to pilgrim groups. The cost of meals, lodging, public transportation while in Rome, and passes to all the events costs approximately $143. The cost includes money to be used to assist ten countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in sending young people to the festivities in Rome.
"U.S. pilgrims are helping to contribute $20,000 to each of these nations. We are a true gathering of the Catholic faith community when all countries and cultures are represented. The generosity of the U.S. pilgrims is a direct response to Pope John Paul II's exhortation Ecclesia in America" Ms. Miller said.
The official target age for pilgrims is from 16 through the thirties. Minors under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. All available information about World Youth Day 2000 can be located on the NCCB website at: <www.nccbuscc.org/laity/youth>. This website also provides information in Spanish.
Pope John Paul II is scheduled to welcome the pilgrims during the opening ceremony on Tuesday, August 15. Groups from all over the world will then gather, by language, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings, for catechesis with Bishops. Each afternoon and evening will be filled with opportunities for worship, prayer, song, dance, and other celebrations that enable fellowship and community among international groups.
World Youth Day 2000 activities will happen throughout the Lazio region of Italy, which includes 11 participating dioceses, including Rome. Each registered group will have a day-long opportunity to participate in the "Jubilee Pilgrimage" of the holy sites in Rome, including passing through the Holy Door at St. Peter's, visiting the tomb of St. Peter, and celebrating Mass in the Circus Maximus.
All participants will then pilgrimage to the university campus site of Tor Vergata for the closing vigil on Saturday night. Pilgrims will sleep under the stars and close out World Youth Day 2000 with the closing Mass with the Holy Father, on Sunday morning, August 20.
U.S. groups should register by visiting the NCCB website or by contacting the U.S. WYD 2000 office at:
3211 Fourth St. NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194
Fax: (202) 541-3176
World Youth Day was instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1984. Since then, there have been gatherings in Rome ('85), Buenos Aires ('87), St. Jacques de Compostelle, Spain ('89), Czestochowa, Poland ('91), Denver ('93), Manila ('95), and Paris ('97).