‘Maronite 08’ planned for WYD Sydney
By BRIAN DAVIES
Retrieved from Catholic Weekly on January 15, 2008
6 January, 2008
The Maronite Church plans to add to World Youth Day in Sydney by staging Maronite 08 as an integral
part of WYD, but looking to the future of the Maronite Church, based on the views and hopes of Maronite
young people, expressed in a special forum and an Expo.
Australia’s Maronite Bishop Ad Abikaram said WYD presented a unique and golden opportunity
for a meeting of young Maronite men and women from the world’s 26 Maronite dioceses who would
be in Australia for World Youth Day, as would the Maronite Patriarch.
“We can not only celebrate ‘Maroniteness’, as I’ve come to call it, but at a forum we can discuss our
identity and our future. At the Expo we can display it. My vision for the Maronite Church is a new
program I’m calling New Horizons for New Times,” Bishop Abikaram said.
“With the Patriarch presiding and delegates from the 26 Maronite dioceses – say about 150 persons –
with diocesan and overseas priests and myself, the forum will discuss what kind of new horizons we’re
going to have. Space is already booked for it at the Australian Catholic University
“The timing will be during the WYD Days in the Diocese from July 10-12. The main thing is we are going
to listen to young people as to how they see their Church in the future.”
“Then on Sunday the 13th we will celebrate Maronite 08 beginning with a pontifical Mass led by the
Maronite Patriarch, other bishops and priests and bishops in a big venue, yet to be decided, where we
would expect between 15,000 and 20,000 people to attend.
“After Mass we’ll stage an Expo to showcase the Church in action in different countries, culminating
in a festival of music and dancing expressing Maronite history, and the liturgy, as well as Lebanese
history and heritage – a significant contribution to World Youth Day.”