August 5, 2005

Archdiocesan youth and adults
ready for pilgrimage

By Brandon A. Evans

The 170 youth and adults from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis who will be making the pilgrimage to Cologne, Germany, for World Youth Day 2005 are now only days from leaving.

The group, under the leadership of Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein, will be traveling to Italy and Germany from Aug. 10-22.

The closing Mass for World Youth Day, to be celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI , will be on the morning of Aug. 21.

Four priests of the archdiocese will also be in attendance.

While Aug. 10 will be spent in travel on three different flights, the pilgrimage group will gather for a day of sightseeing in Rome on Aug. 11 before checking into a hotel near the Vatican.

The youth and adults will tour the catacombs and celebrate Mass at St. Paul Outside the Walls, one of Rome’s four patriarchal churches.

The next day, the pilgrims will travel to Assisi to visit the Basilica St. Francis and celebrate Mass there.

On Aug. 13, Archbishop Buechlein will celebrate Mass for the pilgrims inside St. Peter’s Basilica after they get a chance to tour the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel.

The pilgrims will leave Rome the next day, bound for Milan, Italy, by train. The train ride will continue after dinner and during the night as the pilgrims go through France and Germany.

The next morning, they will board the Rhine River Steamer from Mainz, Germany, and travel for four hours past scenic hills, villages and castle ruins.

Later in the day, the youth and adults will arrive in the Cologne area then
check in at their hotels in Neuss and Duesseldorf.

From that point, the schedule for World Youth Day takes over.

On Aug. 16, among other activities, there will be an opening Mass with Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne.

Aug. 17-19 will include a variety of catechetical sessions and festivals as well as a welcome celebration with the pope and a Way of the Cross.

On Aug. 20, all the pilgrims will make their way to Marienfeld, a large field outside of Cologne, to participate in a prayer vigil with the Holy Father.

The youth and adults will spend the night camped out in the field with hundreds of thousands of other people and rise the next morning for the closing Mass with the pope.

After Mass, the pilgrims will split into three groups again and depart for home, arriving back in the U.S. on Aug. 22.

(For regular updates of pictures and information from the pilgrimage, go to from Aug. 10-22.) †


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