Thursday, July 21, 2016

ACN News - Aid to the Church in Need sends 3,500 young people to World Youth Day 2016

By Maria Lozano

Some 3,500 young people from 29 different countries will be able to attend World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland July 25-31, 2016, thanks to the support of international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Many of the youth hail from countries close to Poland: “The young people of Ukraine, Bosnia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Russia and Macedonia are delighted at this opportunity to come together personally with Pope Francis in Poland.”

“Due to the costs involved, most of them have never had the opportunity to participate. For this reason we wanted this year in particular to enable as many young people as possible to personally experience this closeness with the Pope and with other young people from all over the world.” This was the assessment of Magda Kaczmarek, one of ACN’s project coordinators for Eastern Europe.

Meeting with the Pope and living out the experience of the Universal Church can likewise be a life-changing experience for young people from many of the tiny Catholic communities of Central Asia, such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, which is believed to have little more than 100 active Catholics.

The organization has also made it possible for youth from the Middle East to attend World Youth Day 2016. They will represent Churches that are coping with great suffering in countries like Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Palestine. Their presence will personify both the hope of the early centuries of Christianity and the courageous faith of the present-day descendants of the early Christians.

ACN is also sending youth from Sudan and Bangladesh to Krakow, to represents two more countries where Christians daily face discrimination and violent attacks.

Relying on the generosity of its donors, ACN will be able to make a huge difference in the lives of so many young people.

Their experience of World Youth Day, however, does not just depend on financial support—ACN is also calling on its donors around the world for fervent prayer to make the event a success and to make it possible for youth from countries and regions embroiled in violent conflict to be able to make the journey to Krakow and back home again in safety.

In all, ACN is funding 40 different World Youth Day 2016-related projects, the bulk of them to send youth to Poland. Total funding involved tops $600,000, which also makes possible events in particular countries that will take place simultaneously with World Youth Day, such as a national event in Cuba and other Latin American nations.

Close to one million young people are expected to attend World Youth Day 2016. For more information on ACN’s involvement in World Youth Day 2016, see:

With picture of World Youth Day volunteers (© ACN)

Editor’s Notes:

Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need.  ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.

Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.

The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.

For more information contact Michael Varenne at or call 718-609-0939 or fax718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.

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