23,000 From U.S. Signed Up for World Youth Day

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 20, 2005 (Zenit.org).- More than 23,000 young pilgrims and 70 bishops from the United States plan to attend World Youth Day in Germany this Aug. 16-21, according to the U.S. episcopal conference.

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Benedict XVI plans to attend the event, his first foreign trip as Pope.

There are currently 833 U.S. groups signed up, representing almost all the states and 81% of U.S. dioceses and eparchies.

These youth will be joined by an additional 300,000 young people from around the world already registered for the event.

The German bishops’ conference has set a goal of 400,000 registrants and 600 bishops. In addition there will be over 20,000 volunteers deployed by the World Youth Day organizers to assist pilgrims and bishops throughout the entire program.

Five thousand youth from the United States also will participate in the diocesan Days of Encounter to be held in Cologne from Aug. 11-15. The Days of Encounter provide an opportunity for youth to participate in Mass and other prayers and to enjoy local attractions.

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