At the time of the event, one cannot help but be moved by the images of massive crowds of young Catholics from all over the world gathered together in in the bond of faith.
One also cannot help but be moved by the fruitful legacy of WYD that blossoms well after the event, for both the participants and the host city. This fruit is particularly evident in the area of vocations.
The city of Sydney, the most recent host, is no exception. Tim Drake, of the National Catholic Register, reports:
We’ve written about this both during and after Sydney’s World Youth Day, but Sunday’s Daily Telegraph reports that Sydney’s seminaries have three times as many seminarians as there were in 2000.FYI: The next World Youth Day is scheduled for 2011 in Madrid, Spain.
For the first time in 10 years, 60 men are currently studying for the priesthood. Eighty percent of the men are under the age of 30. The youngest is 19. The majority are in their early or mid-20s.
Some have cited World Youth Day’s role.
“There is definitely a renewed interest in the Church and the priesthood,” said Father Anthony Percy, rector of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, one of two seminaries in Sydney.
“We had the ordination of four priests a few months ago — that hasn’t happened since 1983.”