World Youth Day 2002 - Canada's largest-ever volunteer project

 LONDON - first posted 21 February 2002 - 282 words

Canada's largest-ever volunteer project was launched yesterday, as preparations for World Youth Day 2002 get underway in Toronto. More than 35,000 people will be rolling out the red carpet for the Pope and many thousands of visitors from all over the world this summer.

A provincial charity, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, has donated half a million dollars to help recruit and train volunteers in first aid, team leading, security, event coordinating, and hosting. People from all faiths, ethnic groups, schools, colleges and businesses will be taking part in the project.

At a meeting of volunteers of different religions and non-believers on December 1 2001, Pope John Paul II asked them to consider their action as an opportunity: "to put into effect interreligious and intercultural dialogue and collaboration. The defence and the promotion of life are not, in fact, anyone's monopoly; they constitute rather a task entrusted to all."

Fr Thomas Rosica, national director of WYD 2002 said: "The key to the success of World Youth Day 2002 lies with the thousands of volunteers of all ages, creeds, and from all walks of life who will be part of this unique, massive project. We're deeply grateful to the government of the Province of Ontario, and particularly to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for allowing the volunteer dimension of World Youth Day 2002 to shine brightly for the entire world to see."

For more information about World Youth Day 2002 visit their website at:

* On Sunday, (February 24) volunteers from Toronto will be sending the WYD Cross to New York City. There will be a special prayer ceremony at Ground Zero on Monday.

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