WYD a Revolution for Canadian Youth, Says Archbishop

Ottawa Prelate Sees Great Potential for Pastoral Care

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TORONTO, JULY 29, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Marcel André J. Gervais thinks World Youth Day «was an authentic revolution» for the pastoral care of youth in Canada.

The archbishop of Ottawa told the SIR agency: «Two things were being done in Canada, but we could not get youth pastoral care to take off.»

«An event like this is needed, to which we came with over a year of preparation,» he explained. «Now Canadian young people are willing to take part in a real ecclesial ministry.»

Noting the experience of his own diocese, Archbishop Gervais continued: «We came with 700 young people, who are enthusiastic about all that happened these days. During the catechesis I asked them: ‘If a pastoral service for youth is organized in each diocese, are you willing to participate?’ They answered: ‘Yes, immediately.'»

«For me it represents an event that unblocks the situation; I see the possibility and value of a ministry that had not been anticipated,» he observed. «Now, young people understand it is feasible and they want to participate with enthusiasm. I think this will happen in different Canadian dioceses.»

Canadian society has also «reacted favorably to the event,» the archbishop added. «I am very happy to have lived this experience, but especially for our young people. They are here and they want to do what Christ asks them,» Archbishop Gervais concluded.

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