Young People Invited to Prepare for Cologne

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 1, 2004 ( John Paul II has again invited young people worldwide to prepare for next year’s World Youth Day in Germany.

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The Aug. 16-21, 2005, event in Cologne is expected to gather more than 500,000 youths.

In a message released today, the Pope sets his sights on Cologne. «I invite you to begin preparing now with responsible and effective enthusiasm,» he writes.

The Holy Father addressed German youths in particular, saying that the Youth Day cross will soon «be solemnly welcomed in Berlin, from where it will go on pilgrimage throughout Germany until it arrives next year in Cologne.»

The 2002 World Youth Day, in Toronto, drew close to 1 million people.

Registration for Cologne’s World Youth Day will begin this summer in the official Web page,

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