[JMJ 97 - Le Cyberjournal]

WYD Catechesis: a peek behind-the-scenes

THE themes discussed in the catechesis workshops are a common choice between John-Paul II and the national conferences of bishops. In the US, the national conference of bishops has been working since last winter on the different themes and how to present them during WYD in Paris.

The theme of holiness, which was the subject of Cardinal Law's talk in the church of St. Augustine this morning, was prepared with a group from the Midwest. Mrs. Nancy Warren, one of the workers from this group, told us that the theme was decided and elaborated in various meetings with American bishops with the group from the Midwest.

The theme recalls the march of these WYD assemblies towards the Jubilee of the year 2000 which is to celebrate with special solemnity the redemption of mankind through Jesus Christ who brought us all out of slavery into the light of freedom, dignity and holiness.

Mrs Warren is herself a veteran of WYD catechesis workshops. She has worked on the committees preparing the same workshops for the WYD celebrations of Denver (1993) and Manila (1995). When asked how this year's celebrations were going, she replied that people were well pleased, that there was a definite feeling of family, and the committee was also pleased that the themes chosen for exchange and debate did touch the lives of youth everywhere, not just in the US or in the industrialized countries.

Paul-Dominique Masiclat