07/09/2008, 00.00
THAILAND – BANGLADESH

WYD: Catholics from Asia as witnesses of faith in Jesus Christ

Meetings and moments of prayer have characterised the preparation young people underwent in anticipation of World Youth Day. Special heed was paid to Benedict XVI’s message which calls on all to announce the message of salvation.
Bangkok (AsiaNews) – Various dioceses from different Asian countries are preparing the 23rd edition of World Youth Day with joint prayers, Mass, meetings to discuss the theme chosen by Benedict XVI and study groups to improve participants’ proficiency in English. The event is set to open next week in Sydney (Australia).

For participants the event represents a unique moment in which they can meet and compare themselves with young people from the five continents, further develop their knowledge and strengthen bonds of friendship, thus becoming true “witnesses of Christ” as the Pope pointed out.

Fr Anthony Saravuth, chaplain of the Catholic Commission for the Youth, will accompany 79 delegates, in representation of Thailand’s Catholic community.

“In preparing the WYD we focused on the Pope’s Apostolic Letter to better understand the meaning of the event and march in the same direction,” he said.

In describing the content of a recent seminar, he said that it was necessary “to prepare a joint programme in which the culture of the country and the WYD theme are explained” because participants come from ten dioceses across the country, each with its own traditions and customs.

A delegation of 21 youths will also travel from Bangladesh. In preparation for the event meetings were organised to further discuss Benedict XVI’s message.

“Going to Sydney is not a pleasure trip,” Sister Zita Rema, secretary to the Bangladeshi bishops' Youth Commission, told UCA News, but rather it “is a unique moment of prayer and witness of our faith in Jesus Christ. For this reason we organised orientation sessions in preparation for WYD.”

Participants are actually meeting today in their final session and will celebrate Mass before they are off to Australia.

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