The eight bishops from the United States are part of a list of 250 bishop-catechists chosen by the Vatican to give catechesis in a variety of languages during the Aug. 17-19 sessions.
The eight American prelates are: Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago; Cardinal Seán O'Malley, archbishop of Boston; Archbishop Charles Chaput, newly appointed archbishop of Philadelphia; Bishops Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota; Edward Burns of Juneau, Alaska; William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York; and Frank Caggiano, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn.
Each bishop will prepare three catechetical sessions, one for each day, based on the theme for WYD Madrid 2011: "Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith" (Colossians 2:7). The three themes of the day are Firm in the Faith (Wednesday) Established in Jesus Christ (Thursday), and Witnesses to Christ in the World (Friday).
On Saturday, U.S. pilgrims and bishops will gather at a morning Mass before that evening's vigil service with the Pope and the next day's papal Mass. Cardinal George will be the main celebrant at Saturday's Mass, and Archbishop Dolan will provide the homily. At the end of Mass, in a made-for-the-occasion ceremony, the U.S. bishops will send forth the youth to the remaining WYD events and ask them to return home as missionaries. After Mass there will also be some time for participants to gather by diocese or region with their bishops.
The number of U.S. pilgrims scheduled to attend World Youth Day continues to grow. So far, more than 28,700 U.S. pilgrims and 62 bishops have registered to participate at WYD 2011.