TORONTO, JULY 5, 2002 (Zenit.org).- On the eve of the Pope’s appearance at World Youth Day, Toronto will be the setting for one of the key events of the “new evangelization” to date.
From July 24-26, hundreds of thousands of youth will be catechized in the mornings by 261 bishops, including 29 cardinals.
The young people will be divided in 136 groups, to learn more about their faith and to be able to ask their pastors questions. Virtually all the catechetical sessions will be held in 129 churches of metropolitan Toronto. Seven groups will meet in rooms of the city’s Exhibition Place.
During the meetings, the youths will have the chance to go to confession. Each of the meetings concludes with a Mass.
On July 24, the catechesis will focus on Jesus’ words: “You Are the Salt of the Earth.” At this session young people “will consider the vocation they received at baptism to follow Christ and reflect on the meaning of being a Christian, which is to be the salt of the earth, adding the flavor of holiness to the world,” organizers said in a statement.
On July 25, the topic for reflection will be the evangelical phrase: “You Are the Light of the World.” The organizers’ program explains: “This catechesis will focus on the urgency of the mission to evangelize today’s world through the witness of a life lived close to God.”
The theme of the July 26 meditation is “Be Reconciled to God.” “This catechesis will emphasize the importance of recognizing personal sins, and seek to prepare young people for the sacrament of reconciliation,” the organizers said. “Pope John Paul II has stated that there is ‘no peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness.'”
The catecheses will be imparted in 24 languages, including three groups in Arabic, three in Cantonese and two in Mandarin Chinese, two in Russian and two in Vietnamese.
The concluding Mass will be celebrated in seven different rites of the Catholic Church: the Roman, Byzantine-Ukrainian, Byzantine-Slovakian, Byzantine-Ruthenian, Byzantine-Rumanian, Maronite and Syrian.
Moreover, the organizers have announced a special catechesis offered by L’Arche and Faith and Light movements, both founded by Canadian Jean Vanier. The communities of these movements comprise people with disabilities.
World Youth Day has become one of the most important events of the new evangelization launched by John Paul II.
More details on World Youth Day are at www.wyd2002.org.