Knights Active at World Youth Day
Among the estimated 125,000 international visitors arriving in Sydney, Australia for World Youth Day 2008 (WYD) is an official delegation of the Knights of Columbus, including Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and 35 college Knights representing 18 universities. Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori will also be among approximately 500 cardinals and bishops attending.
The Order will be sponsoring two of the official WYD catechetical sites July 15-18 in Sydney. In addition to morning catechesis and Mass led by bishops, the Love and Life Site, located on the campus of Notre Dame University in downtown Sydney, will feature numerous talks, concerts and other events focused on building a culture of life. Opportunites for prayer, including a eucharistic adoration chapel and the sacrament of reconciliation will also be offered.
Sister Kathrine Marie of the Sisters of Life, who has been coordinating the Love and Life Site, attended the 2007 College Council Conference last fall with several other sisters and personally invited the Knights to join them in Sydney. She explained that the presence and collaboration of the Sisters of Life, the Knights of Columbus and the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family would help pilgrims become stronger witnesses of the Gospel of life and love.
The college Knight representatives were chosen following an application process in which interested Knights expressed how they could contribute to and benefit from the Order's presence at WYD 2008. On Wednesday, July 9, the delegates rendezvoused at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) campus for orientation activities, dinner and Mass, and on Thursday, departed for Australia from the Los Angeles airport.
“It’s an exciting moment for the Knights of Columbus and the college members who are the future of the Order,” said Dominican Father Jonathan Kalisch, who is serving as a chaplain for the Knights in Sydney along with Jesuit Father Dan Sweeney.
“Each of us is looking forward not only for the meeting with the Holy Father and the young people of the world, but a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives,” added Father Kalisch, who is a member and chaplain of Quinnipiac University Council 14277 in Hamden, Conn.
The official theme of WYD 2008 is Acts of the Apostles 1:8 — “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses.” The Knights are praying a Novena to the Holy Spirit from Saturday, July 12 until Sunday, July 20, the day of the concluding papal Mass.
Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Anthony C. Fisher, O.P., the principal organizer of WYD 2008, has encouraged all Knights to join together in prayer for the success of the event. “Pray for the organizers, and pray for the Holy Father and bishops of the world who will be teaching and leading young people at WYD,” he said. “I ask you especially to pray for...the young people of the world and the young pilgrims who come, that they come with open hearts and minds ready to receive a seed of the Gospel and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so they will live with Jesus Christ for generations ahead.”