Manila (AsiaNews) – More than 1,300 Filipino youths have already registered for this year’s World Youth Day set to take place on 15-20 July in Sydney, Australia, in the presence of Benedict XVI, a number that is expected to grow over the next few months.
Fr Conegondo Garganta, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Youth, said that a large number of young Filipinos are showing interest in the event. Many are registering directly via the Internet but must co-ordinate with the Commission because prior arrangements are needed with organisers in Sydney and the Australian Embassy in the Philippines
Getting everything together will not be simple though because “there are some who surface in the life of the Church only for this event. We must be cautious before we can vouch for our young people. We want to maintain good relations with the WYD organisers and the embassy.”
Meanwhile various Catholic groups have set up offices to register would-be participants, including the University of Santo Tomas, a Dominican-run institution with about 40,000 students.
Jasica Cruz, 28, from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Manila, was chosen as her parish delegate to the WYD.
She told AsiaNews that she was eagerly waiting to go to Sydney, adding that her archdiocese has planned “a series of spiritual activities to prepare its delegation for the great event.”