WASHINGTON (CNS) – More than 60 U.S. bishops, including Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and Auxiliary Bishop Frank Caggiano, plan to join the 25,000 U.S. World Youth Day pilgrims expected to be part of an estimated one million-plus young people who will attend at least one of the events in Madrid Aug. 16-21.
A morning Mass for the U.S. pilgrims, with the bishops concelebrating, is slated for Aug. 20 at Palacio de Deportes, home to “Love and Life: A Home for English-Speaking Pilgrims,” which will provide English-language World Youth Day events. The air-conditioned center has seating for 15,000.
The Knights of Columbus and the Sisters of Life are lead sponsors of the Love and Life pilgrimage center; they had jointly sponsored a similar center for 2008’s World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia. Co-sponsors include Holy Cross Family Ministries, Canada’s Salt and Light Television Network, the Apostleship of Prayer, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, World Youth Alliance and the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.
The center will be open free of charge to all World Youth Day pilgrims. A special chapel is being constructed at the site. Activities will include Masses, devotions, catechesis sessions, concerts, speakers, witness testimonies, prayer, movie screenings, a eucharistic procession, an outdoor Way of the Cross, eucharistic adoration and sacramental confession.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will provide the animating team for an Aug. 19 catechesis session at the center. It will also offer a “lectio divina” experience Aug. 19 following the Stations of the Cross. U.S. bishops will be present at the site to interact with the young pilgrims. Several U.S. bishops will provide catechesis at the site as well as at other locations.
“World Youth Day is not only an event, it’s an experience – an unforgettable week. We hope that our Love and Life site will serve as a grace-filled place for young pilgrims to join friends and to participate in a spectacular outpouring of faith,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said.
Pilgrims in Madrid or elsewhere can connect to the Love and Life site and its activities by means of a smartphone application, which will be available from the website www.wydenglish.org.
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