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World Youth Day Fundraiser


On July 1, a beautiful summer evening, approximately 50 people gathered for dinner and a show to support Vocations in the Diocese of Gaylord. The effort was a benefit particularly planned to raise money to enable young adults to attend World Youth Day. In 1984, Pope John Paul II announced 1985 as a Jubilee year for the Catholic Church. In an effort to recognize younger people of the Church, he invited youth from around the world to travel to Rome for Palm Sunday. He declared that day to be the first World Youth Day, and encouraged those present to go back to their home towns and communities and celebrate their newfound fellowship and continue the tradition annually. Today, an International World Youth Day takes place every two or three years. The Holy Father invites young adults around the globe to join him for a pilgrimage -- a time of prayer, catechesis, and reflection. In 2011, the event will take place in Madrid, Spain. The development of a new generation of church leadership is absolutely crucial and past experiences have shown that young people participating in World Youth Day events have returned home with a heightened sense of human solidarity and a renewed interest in becoming involved in programs sponsored by the Diocese, many of which have a direct positive impact on our communities. Overwhelmingly, those who participate in World Youth Day state that it is a life-changing experience. A wonderful event for all young adults of the diocese, it is of vital importance that our seminarians and hopefully prospective seminarians are able to attend. The evening in Traverse City began with a Eucharistic Liturgy at the St. Clare Chapel of St. Francis School. Bishop Bernard Hebda presided with Fr. Edwin Thome, Fr. Bill Lipscomb, and Fr. Don Geyman concelebrating. Following the Mass, a delicious dinner was enjoyed by the group. Fr. Don Geyman, Vocations Director for the Diocese of Gaylord spoke to participants regarding the efforts being made in vocations for the diocese and the importance of attending World Youth Day. Max Hoffman, a seminarian from Germany, who was an exchange student at St. Francis High School in Traverse City and happened to be in the area, also was in attendance and spoke about how attending World Youth Day was an inspiration to him and a catalyst for him to follow the call to the priesthood. Bishop Hebda then shared his own thoughts and addressed why he feels World Youth Day is so important. He noted that there have been significant rises in vocations to the priesthood in the countries where the event takes place. After dinner the group made their way to the Traverse City Opera House to watch “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” which was produced by Miracle Productions, a Professional Musical Theater Production Company in Traverse City and directed by Pat Gallagher. Pat and Bernie’s son is Fr. Daniel Gallagher, a priest of the Diocese of Gaylord who is currently on special assignment in Rome. The fundraiser was a great success. Those interested in helping to send our seminarians and other young adults to World Youth Day are encouraged to contact Fr. Don Geyman at the Diocesan Pastoral Center or send contributions to Attn: World Youth Day c/o Diocese of Gaylord, 611 West North Street, Gaylord, MI 49735. If you or someone you know is interested in joining the group travelling to Spain next summer for World Youth Day, contact Kate Wilde at St. Mary Cathedral who is organizing the Diocese of Gaylord group. Do not delay, however. Time for registering is very short with a deadline of August 1, 2010. Click on the link below for a brochure and registration information regarding World Youth Day.

File: World Youth Day Brochure

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