Monday, May 16, 2011

Less than 100 days until....

Join 1.5 million for prayer and fiesta
A large sculpture of Mary with the deceased Jesus is seen at a service in Zamora, Spain, which also had the World Youth Day cross. Dramatic sculptures of the Stations of the Cross from across Spain will be used during the Aug. 16-21 World Youth Day in Madrid. CNS photo by Paul Haring.

Preparations for World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid are heating up and organizers are promising a "fiesta." This will add a Spanish flavour to the traditional opportunities for prayer, friendship, music, and religious education.

Of course there will be a chance to see Pope Benedict XVI as well, but that can't be the reason there are more Italians already registered than any other nationality. They can see the Pope at home without travelling to Madrid.

Registrations are still open, and lots more are expected.

Organizers announced May 10 that the Madrid event will be the first World Youth Day with its own radio station and with a web-TV site.

There has been some controversy about the official hymn for the Madrid gathering. The public has been asked to go to a website and vote for their favourites from a list of 130 by May 31.

Hundreds of bands, choirs, and soloists have applied for an official performance slot at World Youth Day, vying for an international stage even though there's no pay. Organizers chose 255 of them.

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