Wednesday’s WYD summary

Here are today’s highlights over at the CNS World Youth Day blog and on the CNS homepage for WYD stories:

U.S. pilgrim Alex Lugar, 16, of Wexford, Pa., attends a World Youth Day catechesis session July 16 at Blessed John XXIII Parish in Stanhope Gardens, a suburb of Sydney, Australia. Religious instruction has been a traditional part of the international gathering for Catholic young people. (CNS/Paul Haring)

— Catechesis sessions throughout the host city are always a big part of the World Youth Day tradition. One of our bloggers, Anna Weaver of the Hawaii Catholic Herald, has a blog post detailing one she attended yesterday, plus we had a story today on a session led by Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, the former president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue at the Vatican and currently Vatican ambassador to Egypt and the Arab League.

— Helping guide youths as they attempt to discern their vocations is also a big part of World Youth Day, so our other major story today from Sydney was on the vocations fair held this week in the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. CNS Rome bureau reporter Cindy Wooden, who came to Sydney as part of the Vatican press corps on the papal plane, describes the event as both lively and serious.

— Speaking of vocations, one of our bloggers notes his own deep involvement in the vocations aspect of WYD. Chris Valka, CSB, wrote in a post yesterday that the Vocations Expo was a major responsibility of his while in Sydney. Make sure you go back and read his piece if you haven’t already because he talks about his own vocation arising from his attendance at World Youth Day in Denver in 1993 and how he is just weeks from his own final profession of vows with the Basilian Fathers and just months from his own ordination to the priesthood.

All this activity (check here and here for previous summaries) and the pope is just now beginning his official participation in Sydney, where it’s already Thursday morning. Until then …

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