Australia Expecting a Smaller Youth-Day

SYDNEY, Australia, AUG. 26, 2005 ( The Archdiocese of Sydney has proposed «Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me,» from Matthew 10:38, as the theme for World Youth Day 2008.

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Marita Winters, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, told ZENIT that the proposed theme, and tentative date for the event, July 15-20, 2008, have been submitted to the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

She put the estimated budget for the event at $60 million.

Costs will be shared between the local Church, the pilgrims, donations from benefactors and sponsors, and the local community, Winters said.

It is expected that some 80,000 to 100,000 foreign pilgrims will attend, as well as some 100,000 to 125,000 Australians.

The numbers are not as high as in other World Youth Days because of the high cost of travel to Australia, especially from Western countries.

Some 2,500 Australians attended the recent Youth Day in Cologne, the highest number from that country since the 1984 event.

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