Madrid 2011 will be Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann’s first World Youth Day. He has encouraged young people and particularly seminarians to attend and thinks WYD is a unique opportunity to challenge young people to consider a priestly or religious vocation.
I am going to World Youth Day to support and encourage my seminarians and other young people from the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas who will be participating in Madrid.
I hope participating in WYD will provide them an opportunity to encounter Jesus in a new and powerful way. I pray that through WYD they will experience more completely the love of God for them. I trust it will also be a time when they grow in their love for the Church and derive great encouragement from their experience of so many hundreds of thousands of young people from throughout the world who share their Catholic Faith.
From my experience of the youth from my own archdiocese, I think Americans will bring to WYD in Madrid a love for Jesus, particularly as He makes Himself present to us in the Eucharist. The youth of America also have a great eagerness to bring the love of Jesus to others through their compassion and service.
Pope John Paul II initiated World Youth Day to be a concrete manifestation of the importance of young people to the Church. Many past participants found WYD of assistance in discerning their own vocation. Youth come back from WYD motivated to stay close to Jesus in prayer and wanting to become more active in their parish and generally more involved with the Church.
+ Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann,
Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, USA