World Youth Day 2005

Blog entries before the trip

These entries were posted before we left and are listed from newest to oldest.

Unless otherwise noted, all photos on these pages are by Brandon A. Evans, © The Criterion


A final note...

Beginning tomorrow, this weblog will shift gears and turn into a posting site for all the latest news, pictures and videos from the archdiocesan pilgrimage to World Youth Day.

There will be a link on the left side of this page that will still allow you to get to these posts from the past several weeks.

The countdown is just about over, and in a few hours our 170 pilgrims will start making their way to the airport. May everyone in the archdiocese and beyond offer them prayers for safe travel and a wonderful pilgrimage!

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 5:13 p.m. on August 9, 2005

Pope Benedict's Sunday blessing

Note: The link to this story has expired and it can no longer be viewed

From the Catholic News Service:

Pope encourages people to make God most important part of life
  With about 2,000 people packed into the courtyard of his summer villa south of Rome and several thousand more people gathered in the square outside the villa Aug. 7, the pope focused on the upcoming celebration of World Youth Day.

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 2:19 p.m. on August 9, 2005

Now it's really time to pack

Enough said!

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 2:15 p.m. on August 9, 2005

Time to pack!

If you're one of the 170 lucky pilgrims who will be traveling with Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein to Rome and Cologne in two days, it's time to start packing.

Click here for a couple of suggestions.

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 12:42 p.m. on August 8, 2005

Daily Mass intentions for the pilgrimage

Below are the daily Mass intentions that Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein has for the archdiocesan pilgrimage to World Youth Day:

Aug. 11: Basilica of St. Paul, Outside the Walls, Rome
For the conversion of those who do not know Christ or His Church.

Aug. 12: Basilica of St. Francis, Assisi
For world peace, especially in the Middle East.

Aug. 13: Basilica of St. Peter, Rome
For the seminarians of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

Aug. 14: Buon Pastore, Rome
For an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Aug. 15: Cruise Ship, Rhine River
For all couples preparing to receive the sacrament of holy matrimony.

Aug. 16: Cologne, Germany
World Youth Day Opening Mass with Cardinal Meisner
For the sick and homebound.

Aug. 17: Cologne, Germany
For all the religious sisters and priests in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

Aug. 18: Cologne, Germany
For all the laity who minister and volunteer in our parishes.

Aug. 19: Cologne, Germany
For an increased love of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and for all those who will receive their first Holy Communion in the upcoming year.

Aug. 20: Cologne, Germany
For Pope Benedict XVI.

Aug. 21: Cologne, Germany
Closing Mass with Pope Benedict XVI
For the youth and young adults of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

Aug. 22: Cologne, Germany
For the priests of the archdiocese.

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 1:27 p.m. on August 3, 2005

A perfect time for a novena

It struck me that, as we're nine days out from the departure of our archdiocesan pilgrims to Europe for World Youth Day, it would be especially good for those traveling -- and for those not -- to begin a novena today for the safety and fruitfulness of our pilgrimage.

A novena, prayed over nine days, can be as simple as a decade of the Rosary or a special prayer. In our case, besides nine days of asking God for his blessing on our journey, it would be a chance to spiritually prepare for what is rightly more than a trip -- to prepare for a pilgrimage.

As for myself, I will be asking for the intercession of the late Pope John Paul II -- John Paul the Great -- who founded World Youth Day and for so many years gave it much of its strength.

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 5:07 p.m. on August 1, 2005

Two full stories posted about WYD

Note: The links to these stories have expired and they can no longer be viewed

These stories appeared today from Catholic News Service (CNS photo below from Reuters):

Cologne challenge: prepare for World Youth Day pilgrims, pope
The city of Cologne is preparing for an invasion of hundreds of thousands of young people scheduled to attend World Youth Day and activities surrounding Pope Benedict XVI's visit.

Cologne's Jewish leaders hope pope's visit helps Catholic-Jewish ties
Jewish leaders said they hope Pope Benedict XVI's visit to a Cologne synagogue will help improve Catholic-Jewish relations. "We hope that the visit will be a sign for the future," said Michael Rado, a member of the board of the Cologne synagogue, which the pope is scheduled to visit Aug. 19.


Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 5:00 p.m. on August 1, 2005

A WYD news tidbit

Just a tiny reminder of the international nature of each World Youth Day event:

Nepalese Catholics await visas to attend World Youth Day in Germany

KATMANDU, Nepal (CNS) -- Armed with new passports but still awaiting visas, a small group of young Nepalese Catholics prepared to go to Germany for World Youth Day celebrations with Pope Benedict XVI. "We are staying at the church and praying that we are granted visas by the German Embassy," said Santlal Murmu, one of the six delegates, most of them converts to Catholicism. They were chosen from five of Nepal's six parishes to represent local Catholic youth at the international event scheduled for Aug. 16-21 in Cologne. The six young people waited at Assumption Church in Katmandu, reported UCA News, an Asian church news agency based in Thailand. Murmu, a 23-year-old tribal youth, had just arrived in the capital July 26 with two other young men after a 16-hour bus ride on muddy roads from eastern Nepal. Monsoon rains on the roads were not the only hazard; Maoist guerrillas regularly call strikes, block roads and attack vehicles.

Copyright (c) 2005 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 4:55 p.m. on August 1, 2005

The final 10 days

As of this morning, the 170 youth and adults that will be taking part in the archdiocesan pilgrimage to World Youth Day are counting down the final 10 days until the trip begins on August 10.

Keep checking back here for last minute details and news.

Then, when the pilgrimage begins, stay connected to the pilgrims by seeing the pictures, videos and stories from the trip that are posted here as it all unfolds.

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 10:33 a.m. on July 31, 2005

Money conversion

Here is the latest conversion rates for Euros and U.S. dollars (USD):

One Euro is worth about $1.21

- and -

One dollar is worth about .825 Euros

So the lesson is: things are really more expensive than they seem in Europe. If something says "5 Euro" is not five's closer to $6.

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 4:28 p.m. on July 28, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI's schedule

Just released is the official program of the Holy Father's "apostolic trip" to Cologne for World Youth Day. Click here for more.

In addition to that, some statistics:

Germany has 82,520,000 inhabitants of whom 27,411,000 are Catholics, around 33.2% of the total. There are currently 105 bishops, 18,826 priests, 36,323 religious and 3,561 seminarians.


The Catholic Church in Germany runs 10,307 educational institutes including nursery, primary and secondary schools and universities, with a total of more than 959,000 students. She also directs 536 hospitals, 1,359 clinics, 2,588 homes for the elderly and disabled, 1,298 orphanages and creches, 2.030 centers for the family and the protection of life, and 1,331 special centers for social education and re-education.


© Vatican Information Service

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 10:37 a.m. on July 20, 2005

Why Cologne?

More from the Vatican Information Service regarding World Youth Day was posted today. To read the whole story, click here. An excerpt:

The fact that the 20th WYD is being held in Cologne is also associated with a desire expressed by John Paul II to Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of that city, during the WYD held in Paris in 1997. "The Pope told me he felt it appropriate that one of the first WYDs of the new millennium should be held in Cologne," Cardinal Meisner recalls, "because last century Germany witnessed some terrible disasters for humanity, and it is right that it should now witness a great sign of hope."


© Vatican Information Service

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 8:21 a.m. on July 19, 2005

Pope: 'We will meet in Cologne!'

From the Vatican Information Service:

VATICAN CITY, JUL 17, 2005 (VIS) - At midday today, after praying the Angelus, the Pope greeted the bishop, priests, religious, families and local authorities of the Valle d'Aosta region in northwestern Italy where he is spending a brief vacation, and assured them of his special prayers for the sick and suffering.


  The Holy Father then approached the faithful who had gathered to see him and personally greeted the sick and disabled people occupying the front rows.


  Before leaving, he addressed some remarks to young people saying: "You have come to my first Angelus in the mountains. We are already spiritually on the march to Cologne. We will all meet in Cologne!"


  Benedict XVI is due to visit Germany from August 18 to 21 for the occasion of the 20th World Youth Day, which will be held in the city of Cologne.


© Vatican Information Service

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 1:25 p.m. on July 18, 2005

The power of youth

This weekend, many parishes in the Indianapolis area are hosting members of "Crossroads," a group of pro-life youth who are spending their summer walking from coast-to-coast to spread the pro-life message.

They've been doing this for several years, and have made stops in Indianapolis before. To visit their website and learn more about their ministry, click here.

What does this have to do with World Youth Day? Everything. The group got their start when several students from Franciscan University of Stuebenville, in Ohio, attended World Youth Day 1993 in Denver. The late Holy Father, John Paul II, spoke to the thousands gathered about the importance of building up a culture of life, of being a prophetic witness, of not being afraid.

Emboldened by the words, the students took them to heart and started the Crossroads ministry.

We all hope that the same type of fruit -- in both grand and simple ways -- can be borne out of the upcoming World Youth Day. Our new pope, like John Paul II, is counting on everyone, especially the youth!

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 2:04 p.m. on July 17, 2005

World Youth Day Song Revisited

If you're interested, and know how to sing music right off a song sheet, then click on the image below to see the tune that goes with the official World Youth Day song. Sorry for the poor quality...I only had a copy of the original and took a picture of it to get it posted.


Update: Click here to listen a portion of the song (not in English, though

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 4:40 p.m. on July 13, 2005

The World Youth Day Cross

Click here to learn about the World Youth Day Cross. An excerpt:

"Since 1984, the World Youth Day Cross has been on the road. After having been entrusted to the world’s youth by Pope John Paul II, it literally travelled the world. Argentina, France, the United States, Mexico, Poland, the Philippines and Canada are just a few of the countries visited. The Cross has been in hospitals, prisons, slums, youth centres, schools, shopping centres, as well as at Ground Zero in New York. All these stages have left their traces on the transportation case, which is covered with plenty of stickers."

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 1:39 p.m. on July 9, 2005

World Youth Day Song

Every World Youth Day has an official song. In Rome in 2000, it was "Emmanuel." In Denver in 1993 it was "We Are One Body" by Irish vocalist Dana -- the song is still used at Masses today.

The title of the song for Cologne 2005 is one that hearkens back to the common language of the Church: "Venimus Adorare Eum." It's a phrase that basically means "we come to worship him."

Want the lyrics? Click here to assess the words to the song translated in English (PDF format).

Thanks to Carolyn Noone, the archdiocesan associate director of special events, who pointed this out to me -- and who will be joining us on our pilgrimage.

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 4:54 p.m. on July 7, 2005

Are you an adult chaperone?

Please remember that all adult chaperones who will be going on the archdiocesan pilgrimage to World Youth Day must attend a VIRTUS "Protecting God's Children" training session.

VIRTUS is an education and awareness program that the archdiocese has implemented for employees and volunteers who work with young people to teach them more about child sexual abuse and how to help prevent it.

Attendance at one of the courses is mandatory for anyone who interacts with youth in any way in the archdiocese -- no matter for how short a time.

Click here for information about upcoming sessions

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 5:22 p.m. on July 6, 2005

Pope will visit synagogue in Germany

The following Catholic News Services news brief details one of the unique plans of our new pope during his visit to Germany for World Youth Day:

German cardinal says pope's decision to visit synagogue is important

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI's decision to visit a synagogue in Cologne, Germany, during his visit for World Youth Day is an important gesture for a German-born pope to make, said Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne. During a July 5 press conference at Vatican Radio, the cardinal confirmed that Pope Benedict would visit the Cologne synagogue during his Aug. 18-21 stay in Germany. "With a German pope visiting his homeland for the first time and during the year marking the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, which has left its traces," the pope's decision to accept the Cologne Jewish community's invitation was important, the cardinal said. "The Holocaust is still a bleeding wound in Germany. This is a very important gesture," Cardinal Meisner said.

Copyright (c) 2005 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 12:58 p.m. on July 6, 2005

A World Youth Day festival!

St. Thomas More Parish in Mooresville is having a "French/German/Italian Fest" on July 29 to support its pilgrims who will be attending World Youth Day 2005. The event, which will feature international food from Germany, France and Italy, includes three bands and the chance to win an authentic German cuckoo clock and a German beer stein. Food will be served starting at 5 p.m. and the bands will start to play at 6 p.m.

All are welcome to attend, especially those from around the archdiocese who will be travelling to Cologne for World Youth Day.

Interested? Feel free to call the parish office at 317-831-4142 to get more information.

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 10:32 a.m. on July 5, 2005

A video about World Youth Day 2005

The U.S. Bishops' Office of Family, Laity, Women and Youth has posted a video on its website titled "The Road to Köln 2005."

It is about 13.7 MB, which means that to view it you should have a high-speed internet connection, and it is in Windows Media Player format.

Click here to download or view the movie

The video is also available in Spanish (click here)

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 10:13 a.m. on July 5, 2005

Sign up for e-mail list

Don't be left out of the loop! Click here and go to the bottom of the page to sign up for e-mail updates from the U.S. Bishops' Office of Family, Laity, Women and Youth.

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 10:09 a.m. on July 5, 2005

Cologne and Germany -- "Variety at its best"

Want to know more about the region in which World Youth Day will be taking place? Click here to learn all about the many things that there are to see in Cologne and learn a little bit about the history and flavor of Cologne. Among the more interesting facts is that the work on the current Cathedral in Cologne was started in 1248 after the transferral of the remains of the three Magi -- that's more than 750 years ago! (Photo: Cologne on the Rhine River, photo by Decker)

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 9:58 a.m. on July 5, 2005

"The Church is young"

The official site for World Youth Day 2005 has an article posted about Pope Benedict XVI -- it includes details about his life as well as his thoughts on the upcoming World Youth Day.

An excerpt:

"Benedict XVI is making it known that he will not copy the exact style of his predecessor, but that he intends to do some things differently.  However, his desire to travel to Cologne underlines his fundamental appreciation for the Youth: 'The Church is young', Benedict XVI said these words during his first meeting with his fellow Countrymen.  Young people should not be thought of as being consumed by the trappings of consumerism or pleasure.  They are not materialistic, nor egotistical.  'The opposite is true:  The Youth want the Greater'- and the Good. They are against injustice, inequality, oppression; they are for freedom. 'They are very open to Christ.' "

Click here for the article

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 9:49 a.m. on July 5, 2005

What should I bring?

Wondering what you should bring along with you for the World Youth Day pilgrimage? The most recent newletter from an office of the U.S. Bishops gives some suggestions.

Click here for more

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 1:00 p.m. on June 29, 2005

What will the weather be like?

Using statistics found at and BBC Weather, I've put together some averages for what the weather should -- under normal circumstances -- be like in August in Rome and Cologne, as compared with what it will be like in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis in August:

Rainfall: 3.5 inches
Average high: 83.5 degrees
Average low: 62.8 degrees
24-hour average temperature: 73.0 degrees

- - -

Rome in August:

Rainfall: 1.1 inches
Average high: 81.7 degrees
Average low: 63.1 degrees
24-hour average temperature: 74.5 degrees

- - -

Cologne in August:

Rainfall: 1.8 inches (measured in Dusseldorf)
Average high: 75.2 degrees
Average low: 57.2 degrees
24-hour average temperature: 64.2 degrees

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 1:11 a.m. on June 28, 2005

The history of World Youth Day

The offical website for World Youth Day has provided this article about the events history, as well as a timeline charting its course through the past 20 years.

"Rome in the early 1980s, in an inconspicuous side street, close to St. Peter’s Square. It was here that a group of young people would regularly meet to pray and talk. Frequently, the German bishop Paul-Josef Cordes would come along, as Vice-President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Here, in the church of San Lorenzo in piscibus, an idea was born."

Click here to read more

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 5:28 p.m. on June 27, 2005

Mourning and welcoming

Click below to go to the following news releases from the official World Youth Day website.

World Youth Day mourns Pope John Paul II

World Youth Day delighted about new pope

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 5:26 p.m. on June 27, 2005

Schedule and youth festival

Check out detailed information about the official World Youth Day schedule and the youth festival by clicking here -- the link will take you to the official website of the event.

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 5:21 p.m. on June 27, 2005

Be a part of a John Paul II "photo-mosaic"

The image to the left was taken from a new website called

The goal of the site is to create the largest photo mosaic in the world. The mosaic, to be featured at World Youth Day, will honor the late Pope John Paul II -- who founded World Youth Day -- by composing a picture of him from thousands of pictures of pilgrims who will be going to Cologne this summer.

Anyone taking part in our archdiocesan pilgrimage can go to the site and upload a digital picture of themselves to be a part of the mosaic.

(Note: when going to the site, be sure to click on the British flag, which looks like this: . That will translate the page into English.)

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 1:02 p.m. on June 27, 2005

World Youth Day freebies for pilgrims

Click here to see all of the things that will be included for participants of the pilrimage. Each participant gets a special backpack filled not only with some essential items, but also things that will prove to be souvenirs of a happy pilgrimage.

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 12:46 p.m. on June 27, 2005

June Newletter

The U.S. Bishops' Office of Family, Laity, Women and Youth recently e-mailed their June update on World Youth Day. The e-letter contains all sorts of valuable information, including helpful links. I'll post more later about some of the specific things that you can find in the newsletter.

Click here to assess the letter

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 12:17 p.m. on June 27, 2005

Basic information and pictures

You can get to all the information that was posted on this page by clicking here, or by following any of these links:

Basic Information | Schedule | International Pictures | Greenwood Meeting | Useful Links

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 12:00 p.m. on June 27, 2005

The numbers are in....

The following was information released last Friday, June 24:

U.S. delegates gear up for World Youth Day

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- More than 23,000 U.S. pilgrims will be joining 70 U.S. bishops at World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, Aug. 16-21. Pope Benedict XVI will attend the event on what is expected to be his first foreign trip as pope. In the United States, 833 groups have signed up to participate, representing nearly all U.S. states and 81 percent of dioceses and eparchies in the United States, according to a news release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. An additional 300,000 young people from around the world have registered for the event. The German bishops' conference has set a goal of 400,000 registrants and 600 bishops attending World Youth Day. There will also be more than 20,000 volunteers.

Copyright (c) 2005 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 11:10 a.m. on June 27, 2005

The pope's World Youth Day travel plans

The following is a copyrighted release of the Vatican Information Service.



VATICAN CITY, JUN 21, 2005 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls announced today that "the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, will travel to Cologne, Germany from August 18 to 21 on the occasion of the 20th World Youth Day.


  "The Pope will depart Rome on Thursday, August 18 at 10 a.m. from Ciampino Airport, arriving Cologne after 2 hours of flight. The following day he will travel by car to Bonn where he will spend the day, returning to Cologne in the late afternoon. On Sunday, August 21, he will depart Cologne for Rome at 7:15 p.m., arriving at Ciampino two hours later."

Posted by Brandon A. Evans on June 21, 2005


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