Church in Germany Urged to Prepare for Youth Day

«We Are Waiting for You,» Student Tells Pope From Berlin

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 4, 2004 ( John Paul II encouraged the Church in Germany to mobilize in preparation for next year’s World Youth Day in Cologne.

At the end of today’s Palm Sunday Eucharistic celebration in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope greeted by television the thousands of young people who were gathered at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, to receive the World Youth Day cross which will be taken on tour throughout Germany.

«I encourage the whole Church in Germany to mobilize on the occasion of this great event,» the Pope said in German.

Thanks to a satellite link, young Germans were able to greet the Pope. Kathrin Dennstedt, 22, a student in Berlin, spoke on behalf of young people in the German capital.

After thanking the Holy Father for his «great confidence» in youth, Dennstedt addressed all young people worldwide who will go to Cologne in August 2005, and said: «You will all be cordially welcomed.»

«Come to visit us, Holy Father!» she added, addressing John Paul II personally. «We are waiting for you and assure you that you can count on us.»

According to a recent statement by Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls, the Pope intends to go to Cologne.

Before bidding his listeners farewell, the Holy Father also greeted over 300 young people, of some 100 countries, who were in Rocca di Papa, near Rome, attending the 8th International Youth Forum.

The theme of the forum, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, was «Young People and the University: To Witness to Christ in the University Environment.»

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