Friday, May 27, 2011


CATH NEWS REPORT: Students from Australian Catholic University are peppering up the chorizo, clicking the castanets, charging up the mechanical bulls and living with “Alegria”, all before they even arrive in Madrid, reports Beth Doherty on the WYD website.

Specifically targeted to engage university pilgrims from Australia’s largest Catholic University, the 'Alegria' program aims to give young people an experience of the joy of World Youth Day even if they can't make it to Madrid.

As part of the 'Alegria' program the Identity and Mission Team at ACU National created “Viva Day” to give students a taste of Spanish culture and faith, and also do valuable preparation for their pilgrimage.

National Formation Coordinator for Mission and Identity Thérèse Nichols is learning new Spanish words each day, and even tried some flamenco dancing at the 'Viva day' held at ACU Melbourne.

“Each campus added its own unique flavour and character to Viva Day that included Spanish dancing, games, Spanish food, WYD songs and Spanish music, Spanish language classes and some even had mechanical bulls!! “On March 15th on each of our six campuses we celebrated Viva Day. Viva Day is something we created to bring WYD alive on each campus with a Spanish fiesta to celebrate. Five months out it was the ideal time to promote, publicise and boost registrations”, she said.

“VIVA day not only boosted our registrations but gave every campus a little taste of what WYD will be like in Madrid!” she said.

Thérèse said that they have lots of registrations, and with just a little bit of time to go, are focusing on building the “joy” among pilgrims.

'Alegria' is an exciting and vibrant group of students who desire to learn, grow and share together in the Catholic faith. Students from all walks of life are invited to come along fortnightly to hang out together in a relaxed and casual forum on campus."

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