From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Toronto-bound youngsters gather on Pope John Paulís birthday to prepare for World Youth Day trek

by the Inland Register

From the June 13, 2002 edition of the Inland Register)

On Saturday, May 18, a group of youth and young adults who will be attending World Youth Day in Toronto gathered to prepare for their pilgrimage. The date coincided with the Holy Fatherís 82nd birthday.

The Spokane Diocese will be well represented at the Toronto gathering this summer. Those who were able to attend the May 18 event spent time getting to know one another, finding out details of the trip, and making a practice hike of about five miles.

World Youth Day in Toronto promises a fair amount of walking, including a five-mile trek to the site of the eventís Saturday night vigil and Sunday morning Mass with Pope John Paul II at World Youth Dayís conclusion.

The Diocese of Spokane has 160 youth, young adults and adults heading to Toronto for World Youth Day. Two groups, numbering 20 and 10, respectively, will be traveling separately and will rendevous in Toronto with the larger Spokane group.

The main Spokane contingent will consist of 130 people traveling by charter bus from Spokane to Toronto. The group will gather at St. Mary Parish, Spokane, by 9 p.m. on Friday, July 19.

Mass will be celebrated at 9:30 p.m. After Mass and some recreation the buses will leave at 2 a.m. for Bismarck, N.D. After stops in Wisconsin and Michigan the group is scheduled to arrive in Toronto in time for opening ceremonies on Tuesday, July 23.

World Youth Day will feature daily catechetical sessions led by various bishops, archbishops or cardinals, including Bishop Skylstad on Friday morning.

Each morning we attend a very large catechetical session lead by bishops or cardinals. Bishop Skylstad will be giving a presentation on Friday morning. A youth festival will take place during the afternoons and evenings, giving the participants the opportunity meet others from around the globe. A wide variety of Christian musicians and speakers also will be present, performing on 15 different stages.

Over 100 information booths have been scheduled for Toronto, describing various organizations as well as vocational opportunities.

Friday evening will feature a live Stations of the Cross presentation through the mains treets of Toronto.

Bishop Skylstad also plans to celebrate Mass with the Spokane group at some point during the festivities.

Saturday will be spent on the walk to the vigil service Ė a little over five miles. Participants spend the night at that site, and celebrate Mass the following Sunday morning with Pope John Paul.

On Sunday, after the Mass, the main Spokane group of 130 will reboard the buses and head back to Spokane, with stops in the suburbs of Chicago and in Sioux Falls, S.D., before arriving back home late on Tuesday, July 30 (or perhaps very very early on Wednesday, July 31).

The Spokane pilgrims will be sending back pictures of their journey and experiences. Those photos will be posted on the dioceseís web site.

Delegates will be attending from the following Spokane Diocese parishes: Assumption (Spokane), Assumption (Walla Walla), Immaculate Conception (Colville), Our Lady of Fatima (Spokane), St. Anthony (Spokane), St. Augustine (Spokane), St. Charles (Spokane), St. Francis of Assisi (Spokane), St. Francis of Assisi (Walla Walla), St. John Vianney (Spokane), St. Joseph (Colbert), St. Joseph (Dayton), St. Joseph (Otis Orchards), St. Mark (Waitsburg), St. Mary (Spokane), St. Mary of the Rosary (Chewelah), St. Michael (Inchelium), St. Paschal (Spokane), St. Peter (Spokane), St. Patrick (Pasco), St. Patrick (Walla Walla), and St. Thomas More (Spokane).

(A special thanks is due all the youth leaders who have helped the youth and young adults of the diocese prepare for and raise the money needed to make this pilgrimage, and to all those who donated to help make the pilgrimage possible.)

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