“I see this as an opportunity for the young adults of our diocese to be with others from around the world, to witness their faith and to experience the church in Spain,” wrote Bishop Ricken. “Most importantly, they will be able to see and hear Pope Benedict XVI at the vigil and closing Mass.”
In addition to Bishop Ricken, Fr. Joel Sember and Fr. Ben Sember will be attending World Youth Day.
“This will be a great opportunity for me and Fathers Joel and Ben to meet and get to know some of the young adults within the diocese,” said Bishop Ricken.
According to Donlon, the Diocese of Green Bay has reserved 40 tickets to World Youth Day in Madrid and only 20 tickets remain. The 10-day pilgrimage is open to young adults ages 21 and above.
Among area Catholics already registered for WYD 2011 is Laurie Haddock, a member of St. Raphael the Archangel Parish in Oshkosh, where she is involved in music ministry. Haddock will attend World Youth Day with her 21-year-old daughter, Stephanie Czajka, a junior at St. Norbert College.
“We are attending because our family has always been interested in exploring other cultures,” she said in an e-mail to The Compass. While it will be the first World Youth Day expereince for mom and daughter, Haddock said her son, Evan, attended WYD 2008 in Sydney, Australia.
“He really enjoyed it, so Stephanie asked if she could go in 2011,” said Haddock. “What a wonderful opportunity to experience other cultures, meet other pilgrims, deepen our faith and see the Holy Father in person.”
Having Bishop Ricken accompany the diocesan pilgrims is an added bonus, she noted.
“I think it’s terrific that Bishop Ricken will be attending with us. This is such a special and powerful event. It is so important for our young people to catch fire with their faith.”
The theme for the 2011 event is, “Rooted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith,” a quote taken from the second chapter of St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians.
International World Youth Day is a week-long spiritual journey where young adults from around the world gather to share their faith. During the week, pilgrims participate in religious activities, catechetical sessions and cultural programs.
The week’s highlights include a vigil and closing Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI.
World Youth Day 2011 organizers have launched an English-language Web page offering registration information, schedules and social networks. The Web site, www.madrid wyd2011.com.
To register or for more information contact Julianne Donlon, (920) 272-8270 or [email protected] Additional details can be found on www.gbdioc.org.