Bishop John M. LeVoir of New Ulm, Minnesota, will be attending WYD for the first time. He thinks WYD is a unique opportunity for youth to experience the universal Church and get them on fire for the faith.
I am going to World Youth Day for two reasons. One is to be with the young people from my Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota. Two is to experience for myself this Catholic phenomenon. This will be my first WYD. I am very excited to be going.
I hope the youth from my diocese and from the world get encouraged to remain "Rooted and Built Up in Jesus Christ, Firm in the Faith" (Colossians 2:7), which is this WYD theme. To WYD U.S. youth will bring their excitement, enthusiasm, faith, and a desire to see Pope Benedict and to meet Christ.
WYD gives the youth of the world an opportunity to experience the universal nature of the Church. The Church is greater than what the youth experience in their home parishes. Instead, the Church is world-wide. There are many languages and many cultures all united in Christ. Together with Christ, the faithful form one Body: the Body of Christ.
This is my first WYD, but I have seen the effects of past WYDs on our youth, especially WYD in Denver in 1993. Blessed John Paul II set the U.S. youth on fire for the faith then and it is still burning today.
+ Bishop John M. LeVoir
Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota, USA