Archdiocesan Teens to Travel to Australia for World’s Largest Youth Event

July 08, 2008

Twenty-five teens and young adults from Archdiocese of Washington are heading to Sydney, Australia this week to join Pope Benedict XVI and 225,000 Catholic youth from around the world for World Youth Day.

They are all from parishes in Maryland: St. Francis of Assisi parish in Derwood; Our Lady of Sorrows parish in Takoma Park; St. Margaret of Scotland parish in Seat Pleasant; St. Peter parish in Waldorf; and St. Camillus parish in Silver Spring. Other local youth will travel to the event with national lay movements and other Catholic organizations.

The archdiocesan group includes four seminarians preparing to become priests for the archdiocese and 16-year-old twins from St. Margaret of Scotland parish. All of the youth are travelling with adult leaders.

Gloria Canalas, youth director for St. Camillus parish in Silver Spring, is taking three teens from her parish on the 22-hour trip. “They’re nervous about such a long journey,” she said, “but they’re super excited to be with other young people of different cultures who have their faith in common.” The parish held yard sales, car washes, sold home made ice cream and got donations from parishioners, raising enough to pay for more than half the trip for each of the teens.

World Youth Day is the largest youth event in the world and is held in a different nation every two to three years. This year it will be held in Sydney from July 15 to July 20. The week-long series of events, including catechesis, culminates in a final Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI on the last day (the actual World Youth Day). Typically, the Mass is the largest event of the week and has drawn millions of people in past years.

The Archdiocese of Washington, established in 1939, is home to 580,000 Catholics in 140 parishes in Washington, DC and five Maryland counties.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]