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Pope to send daily text messages during WYD

Please see online interview with Cardinal George Pell here - - and EMBARGOED release attached.


Media release

EMBARGOED: 5AM Wednesday 7 May 2008


Telstra answers the call – Pope to send daily text messages to young people during World Youth Day

In a World Youth Day first, Pope Benedict XVI will send text messages of hope and inspiration directly to pilgrims, reaching young people in their social space.

The service will be made possible by Telstra, announced today as the official telecommunications partner of World Youth Day 2008 (WYD08).
“We wanted to make WYD08 a unique experience by using new ways to connect with today’s tech-savvy youth,” said WYD08 Coordinator, Bishop Anthony Fisher OP.

“Our partnership with Telstra will help us do that.”

Telstra will provide voice, data, mobile, broadband and broadcast services to WYD08, connecting 8000 volunteers, 2000 clergy, 3000 media and an anticipated 225,000 pilgrims to more than 700 locations around the greater Sydney area.

“Telstra’s involvement will ensure that WYD08 will be the most innovative World Youth Day to date,” Bishop Fisher said.

One-of-a-kind Telstra services planned for WYD08 include:

·         Daily inspirational text messages from Pope Benedict XVI 

·         Digital Prayer Walls at event sites 

·         Hosting the official WYD08 online social networking site,

·         Telstra precincts - on the ground interactive centre’s including wireless internet, green screen studios, commemorative WYD08 photo messaging and music downloads. 

·         Next G™ Regional Catechesis webcasting

Mr Michael Rocca, Telstra Group Managing Director Telstra Networks and Services, said Telstra was the only provider in Australia with the proven size, scale and innovation to deliver these services to WYD08.


“Just as we did for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, 2003 Rugby World Cup and the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Telstra will bring participants closer to the event through new media and telecommunications services, allowing youth to interact with WYD08 events,” he said.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this major global event and we are happy to be providing world class telecommunications to WYD08 participants and organisers,” he said.





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