16,500 US Youth Pre-Registered to See Pope in Madrid

At Least 60 Bishops to Accompany Young People

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WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 4, 2011 (Zenit.org).- With early-bird registration still running through this month, more than 16,500 youth and 60 bishops are signed up for World Youth Day in Madrid this August.

The list represents 380 U.S. groups, including parishes, youth organizations and other entities, and most participants are between 16 and 25 years old.

The number of prelates could increase, but for now, the list includes Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as well as Cardinals Seàn O’Malley of Boston, Francis George of Chicago, and Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, D.C.

Detroit, Philadelphia, New York and Denver, which hosted WYD in 1993, are the dioceses so far sending the largest contingents. California, Arizona and the Washington, D.C., area are also sending sizable delegations.

The Aug. 16-21 event has a theme from Colossians 2:7: "Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith."

Benedict XVI arrives in Madrid on Aug. 18. He will preside over WYD's biggest events: the Saturday night vigil and Sunday morning Mass.

About 4,000 U.S. participants also are planning to attend the "days in the dioceses," a pre-event activity that allows them to experience the country’s culture and religious traditions by spending time with local families and Catholic communities.

Though registration will be open until the dates of the event itself, early registration is recommended. Early-bird registration ends March 31.

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On the Net:

To register or for more information: www.madrid11.com/en