Instead of leading a delegation to the Central American country, Archbishop Wilson has chosen to use the occasion for the Church to gather as one community to “recognise and encourage faith in our young people”.
The local three-day event (January 22-25) will connect to the global celebration by incorporating the theme, prayers, music, and messages.
Archbishop Wilson said it would be “uniquely Australian” with local presenters, musicians, liturgies, and other surprises to be announced in 2018.
“We will join our hearts with the young people of the world while celebrating our local community,” he said.
“I invite the young people of the Archdiocese of Adelaide, ages 16 to 30, to participate in this joyous occasion. I also extend the invitation to other young people of Australia who are not able to travel to Panama.”
“It is my hope that parishes, schools and communities will join in this celebration of the young people of the Archdiocese of Adelaide.
“The Archdiocese of Adelaide is made rich by the gifts and talents of the members of our community, and I will be relying on you to offer your time and talents to assist with this great undertaking.”
Parishes, schools, and communities will be encouraged to develop their own plans to celebrate World Youth Day in the days leading up the diocesan celebration.
The Archbishop said he made the decision after careful consideration of the health and safety risks of sending young people to Panama, as well as his desire for more young people in the archdiocese to experience the spirit of World Youth Day.
Those people still wishing to travel to Panama can contact Peter Bierer in the Catholic Office for Youth and Young Adults (Peter.email@example.com or 8301 6866) to find out how they can connect with another Australian group.
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