My Dear Young Catholics,
On behalf of the Archdiocese of Durban and the Cluster of Dioceses of the Durban Metropolitan Province, I extend a warm welcome to all Young People from Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland coming to Durban for the Mini World Youth Day.
At the same time I invite you to participate as fully as possible in everything on offer at the Mini World Youth Day, which Durban will be hosting on behalf of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference in the Durban Exhibition Centre, from Wednesday, 6th until Sunday, 10th December 2017.
In choosing the theme for the Mini World Youth Day we have been guided by the vision that Pope Francis has set for World Youth Day for the next three years, when each year on Palm Sunday, Dioceses and Parishes are asked to celebrate annual Youth Day with him. This three year cycle will culminate in the World Youth Day in Panama in January 2019.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is at the heart of the themes chosen for the next WYDs. As might be expected it is the Gospel of St Luke that provides light and inspiration for these World Youth Days. For Palm Sunday 2017 the theme is: “The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His Name”. That is why we have chosen this verse from Mary’s Magnificat as the theme for our Mini World Youth Day at the end of the year.
The importance of this occasion for evangelising Youth and Young Adults is underlined by the fact that Pope Francis has also focused the attention of the next Synod of Bishops on young people, by selecting the theme “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment”.
If you have been blessed with the grace of attending a World Youth Day, then you will know what a wonderfully spiritual privilege it is, a special moment of grace, and so you will be first in the queue encouraging your friends and fellow believers to attend the Mini World Youth Day in Durban, where we will celebrate our Christianity together as Southern Africans.
Mini World Youth Day will include Holy Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Catechetical sessions, Stations of the Cross, Morning Prayers and in a special way, Confession and Forgiveness of our sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The registration fee, which you or your parents/family or your parish will pay, will cover the full 3 days. It will include your accommodation, your meals, your transport in and around Durban and your spiritual care.
A professional team has been appointed to work closely with the SACBC Praesidium or Organising Committee made up of people from the Bishops Conference, the Durban Cluster and the Archdiocese of Durban. These three Church groups, together with the Conference Company, will do everything possible to ensure that Mini World Youth Day will be a resounding success.
Looking forward to welcoming you to the Mini World Youth Day and to Durban in December!
Wilfrid Cardinal Napier OFM
Archbishop of Durban.
BISHOP BARRY WOOD, O.M.I.
(13.06.1942 – 02.05.2017)
The Mini World Youth Day organising team add their voices to those who mourn the passing of their great friend and supporter, Bishop Barry Wood OMI who passed away early on 2 May. He was the Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Durban.