WYD needs 20,000 hosts and 8000 volunteers

12 Mar 2008

By The Record

World Youth Day encouraging HomeStay and Volunteer Sundays in local parishes
Catholic parishes across Sydney will this weekend spread the word about World Youth Day 2008 (WYD08) and two of its major participation programs – HomeStay and Volunteering.

“World Youth Day will create a sense of exhilaration not felt in Sydney since the Olympic Games,” said WYD08 Chief Operating Officer Danny Casey.
 “More than 125,000 young Catholics from around the world will join tens of thousands of young Australians in July to celebrate their faith in one of the world’s great host cities.
 “It’ll be an event Sydneysiders will want to be part of in some way – a chance to take part in the biggest event Australia has ever held in terms of participants.”
 WYD08 is looking to recruit 8000 event week volunteers and around 20,000 HomeStay Hosts.
 All parishes in greater Sydney have been asked to invite their congregations to volunteer or host two or more visiting pilgrims during the event week.
 “Parishes will include WYD08 information in their bulletins, hold information stalls after Mass and make special announcements during the Easter season when church attendances are normally higher,” Mr Casey said.
 “We want our parishioners to be aware of the great benefits of this event and understand that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
 On 16 March (Palm Sunday) and 23 March (Easter Sunday), Sydney priests will be asked to circulate information about volunteering.
 HomeStay families who apply before the end of March will be eligible for a guaranteed space in Randwick Racecourse for the Final Mass, celebrated by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
 To register as a volunteer, visit: www.wyd2008.org/volunteer <http://www.wyd2008.org/volunteer> or call 9390 5997. To register as a HomeStay Host visit: www.wyd2008.org/homestay or call  02 9390 5994.
 Sydney will host the 23rd World Youth Day from 15–20 July. Organised by the Catholic Church but open to all, it will mark Pope Benedict’s first visit to Australia.