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Christchurch young adult to lunch with the Pope

Christchurch young adult to lunch with the Pope at World Youth Day
Holy Father, can you pass the salt, please?”

For most of the 220,000 expected pilgrims at World Youth Day, lunches will probably be eaten with fellow pilgrims, on roadsides, park benches or in noisy cafeterias. For one lucky New Zealand pilgrim, however, one lunch at World Youth Day will involve hanging out with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, as part of a special contingent of handpicked youth from around the world.

Clare Dooley, the Director of Catholic Youth Ministry in Christchurch and also a pilgrim heading to World Youth Day, one of 4000 other young Kiwi pilgrims, is “very surprised and honoured to be chosen to have lunch with Pope Benedict.

“Meeting the Pope has always been on my list of things to do in my lifetime,” she says. “When I meet him I will be representing all the young people of New Zealand and I will greet the Pope on their behalf.”

A global event for youth called by the Catholic Church, WYD is the largest youth event in the world and is held every two or three years. Although described as a “day”, it is in fact a week-long event.

World Youth Day gathers young people from around the world to build bridges of friendship and hope between continents, peoples and cultures. The Pope invites all the youth of the world to participate, without any kind of discrimination. While World Youth Day is a Catholic event, its message is relevant for all people. Those of all backgrounds are welcome to participate.


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