SOURCE: MyCatholicVoice

June 17, 2008 14:00 ET

MyCatholicVoice Launches Virtual Pilgrimage for World Youth Day 2008

Partnership With U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Embassy of Australia Brings International Catholic Youth Event Online at MyCatholicVoice.com

Virtual Pilgrimage Encourages Interactive Remote Event Participation Globally

Site Features Customized World Youth Day Music Playlists, User Videos, and Blogs by "Feet-on-the-Street" Youth Reporters and Other Special Features

LENEXA, KS--(Marketwire - June 17, 2008) - MyCatholicVoice (www.mycatholicvoice.com), the first Catholic online resource combining social networking with digital multimedia content, today announced the launch of its Virtual Pilgrimage for World Youth Day 2008 (Sydney, Australia, July 15-20, 2008). Partnering with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Embassy of Australia, MyCathoicVoice is hosting the Virtual Pilgrimage to provide Catholic youth around the world a means to virtually experience the vitality of World Youth Day.

Designed to bring the best of World Youth Day to a larger online audience, the MyCatholicVoice WYD08 Virtual Pilgrimage will feature "feet-on-the-street" reporting by on-site youth attendees sponsored by USCCB. Using video footage and event blogs, these multimedia reports provide a personal and interactive perspective on the event between youth who are physically present at the event and youth following the event online. The WYD08 Virtual Pilgrimage will also offer music selections from the event, messages from attending Bishops, packaged teachings and other special features.

"With the support of the USCCB and the Embassy of Australia, we've brought the promise of advanced internet capabilities to the mission of the church for a global online audience in a very practical and personal way," said Fred Fosnacht, chief executive for MyCatholicVoice. "The Virtual Pilgrimage showcases how we are enabling the global Church community to explore and share the rich tradition of the Catholic faith with a demographic that regularly connects and relates to others online. We're very pleased to have the opportunity to provide the Church and its youth with a global online stage for this special event."

"Our partnership with MyCatholicVoice for the WYD08 Virtual Pilgrimage is a prime example of how the Catholic Church is initiating innovative ways to reach its youth," said Sr. Eileen McCann, USCCB. "This offers a truly unique and meaningful experience of World Youth Day to people across the world, and enables personal connection through this shared experience."

A week-long event, World Youth Day is the world's largest youth event. It is an invitation from the Pope to the youth of the world to celebrate their faith. Up to 225,000 registered pilgrims are expected to take part in WYD08 events on site daily, including 125,000 international visitors.

About USCCB

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is an assembly of the hierarchy of the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands who jointly exercise certain pastoral functions on behalf of the Christian faithful of the United States. The purpose of the Conference is to promote the greater good which the Church offers humankind, especially through forms and programs of the apostolate fittingly adapted to the circumstances of time and place. The bishops themselves constitute the membership of the Conference and are served by a staff of over 350 lay people, priests, deacons, and religious located at the Conference headquarters in Washington, DC. There is also a small Office of Film and Broadcasting in New York City and a branch office of Migration and Refugee Services in Miami.

About MyCatholicVoice

Launched in February, 2008, MyCatholicVoice is the most comprehensive online Catholic resource for personal inspiration and community ministry. The site's mission is to capture, organize and share the tradition of the Catholic Church for the next millennium. MyCatholicVoice offers innovative capabilities for exploring and sharing the rich tradition of the Catholic faith, using the latest Internet and mobile technologies. The site provides easy access to a broad range of current and historical material, including published and user-generated content. For more information, visit www.MyCatholicVoice.com.

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