Italy, France, Malta

Italy: CEI, official website in operationThe Italian official site of WYD 2011 in Madrid (16-21 August) is www.gmg2011.it. It is operating from 8 February, 12 o’clock. Promoted by the National Service for the Youth Pastoral of CEI, it is meant to be a milestone for all the news on the 26th World Youth Day. “The WYD – said the person in charge of the National Service for the Youth Pastoral, Father Nicolò Anselmi – has always had two characteristics: it is a pilgrimage whose climax is the Sunday Mass, taking place at the end of the Day; it is a fruitful missionary meeting between the hosting Church and the other churches in the world. The site will accompany this pilgrimage for three years: 2010, the year of preparation beginning; 2011, the year of the meeting in Madrid; and 2012, the year of the account, coming back from Spain. It is a pastoral journey – stated Father Anselmi – not to regard the WYD as an extraordinary fact, but to connect it to the daily pastoral in a closer and closer way”. The site has sections such as “News”, “Materials and Subsidies”, “WYD Albums”, as well as “Close Examinations” of the documents of Popes about the young and World Youth Days, “Links” to ecclesial media (SIR, Avvenire, TV2000, Radio InBlu) and to the Spanish site of the Day. Anybody can send news by writing to info@gmg2011.it. In connection with the site, there is a weekly newsletter which one can receive through online registration.France: 70 thousand in Madrid The international edition of the WYD, which will take place August 16-21 2011 in Madrid, has produced feelings of enthusiasm across France. According to Spain’s organizing committee, some 70 thousand French youth are expected to attend the WYD, approximately the same number of young people that attended Rome’s Great Jubilee in the year 2000. Preparatory meetings on French attendance have been ongoing since past January 9 with the involvement of 160 delegates representing 79 dioceses and some fifteen lay youth movements and associations. The French national service for youth evangelization is finalizing the development of spiritual formation guidelines and tools along with information on logistics and 4 national meetings. The geographical vicinity to Spain will enable the bordering French dioceses to promote joint initiatives. One of these is the diocese of Bayonne (in the South-West of France), which proposed giving hospitality to French youth traveling to Madrid during the “Days of the Dioceses” (August 11-15, 2011).Malta: a musical contest Following the success of the 2009 edition, attended by 10 musical bands on the island, the diocesan Youth Commission of Malta (Kdz) decided to hold the fifth edition of the “World Youth Day 2010 song contest” on Saturday, February 27 2010 at the Salesian Oratory in Sliema. This year’s Contest is the second one from a cycle of three, which will culminate in the participation of Maltese youth in the 2011 WYD that will be held in Madrid, Spain. The organizing committee wished to name this initiative with the title given by Benedict XVI to the 2010 WYD, celebrated at diocesan level on March 28: “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? (Mk 10:17)”. The purpose of the “musical contest”, as stated on the website of the Maltese Church, “is not merely to choose an Official Theme Song. The Contest serves to help local Christian Bands work together to give life to God’s Word through their musical talents”. The original song (together with a copy of the lyrics and a demo) must be submitted by Friday, 22nd January 2010, and will be evaluated by an independent Quality Team in order to assess whether the song is in line with the message of the Pope’s theme for the WYD. Another important event for Maltese youth is the visit of the Holy Father on April 17 and 18. The program envisages also a celebration for the youth in La Valletta on April 18th. The Maltese Church is inviting all Christian musical bands to participate in a concert due to open and close the liturgy with Benedict XVI. Further information about the WYD Song Contest 2010, is posted on the website www.awakeningasaph.org.

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