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Virtual Pilgrimage Site to Provide Updates on Diocesan WYD Pilgrims

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In approximately two weeks, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge and 65 young Catholics from the Diocese of Raleigh will depart on a pilgrimage that will take them to France and Spain. The Diocesan group will join with hundreds of thousands of other Catholics from throughout the world to take part in World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain, from August 16-21. The worldwide encounter is held every three years at the request of the Holy Father. Pope Benedict XVI will preside at several liturgical ceremonies including presiding at the Closing Mass.

The Diocese of Raleigh pilgrims will begin their journey with a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France, where Our Holy Mother appeared 18 times to St. Bernadette. From there, the group will travel by bus to Madrid.

Catholics in the Diocese will be able to follow the pilgrims via a virtual pilgrimage site, http://virtualpilgrimage.wordpress.com/. The Diocesan group will be posting pictures and videos. Several will be contributing blogs and reflections of their experience. Bishop Burbidge will be providing daily Tweets. His Tweets are available @bishopburbidge. For those who do not use Twitter, they can be obtained through email by texting follow BishopBurbidge to 40404.

The website also contains a link that will provide live streaming of the major WYD liturgical events.

The virtual pilgrimage site is already available with information on World Youth Day; daily news of the upcoming event; pictures of Lourdes, taken by Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator Patrick Diener; and a listing of “Saints of World Youth Day.”

The young Catholics, ages 16-34, and their chaperones ask that you pray for them and invite you to follow them on their religious journey. The group departs August 12, 2011.