WASHINGTON (August 4, 2005)—Ten U.S. bishops have been selected by the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Laity to lead catechetical sessions at the 20th World Youth Day, August 16-21 in Cologne.
The bishops include Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles; Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, of Washington; Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee, Archbishop Stefan Soroka of Philadelphia for Ukrainians; Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio; Bishop Blase Cupich of Rapid City, South Dakota; Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York; and Auxiliary Bishop Jaime Soto of Orange, California.
Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican office which addresses censures reserved to the Holy See, and former head of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, which organizes World Youth Days, also is among the catechists.
The catechetical sessions are arranged by language groups and can vary in size from a few hundred to over fifteen thousand participants. They include a presentation by a bishop, interaction between the bishop and the youth, music and liturgy. Other bishops who will address English speaking youth come from Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and other countries where English is spoken. Youth groups are assigned to catechetical sites by language. Among those slated to address groups from the United States are Cardinal George Pell (Australia), Cardinal Francis Arinze (Vatican), Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, OFM (South Africa), and Bishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ (Canada).
The Cologne celebration is the 20th World Youth Day and will include not only catechetical sessions but also a pilgrimage to the cathedral, prayer vigil and Mass with Pope Benedict XVI, a musical festival and other activities to celebrate the Catholic faith.
More information on World Youth Day can be found at www.wydusa.org.