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WYD: Social networking site offers pilgrimage experience for those at home

Alicia Ambrosio

July 12, 2011
Does your schedule this August have you in class? Or working and unable to get time off to go anywhere? Many would-be World Youth Day pilgrims have this problem.
[singlepic id=43 w=320 float=right]The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has tried to solve this problem with their website virtualworldyouthday.org. In the approximately 34 days left until WYD, would-be pilgrims can create an avatar on the website and send it on a virtual pilgrimage to Madrid. The site features a satellite map with the avatars created by would-be pilgrims are placed on that map. Visitors to the site can click on other avatars to find out who they are and where they're from.
The virtual pilgrimage kicks into high gear once WYD begins. There's also the opportunity to watch the main events live, which can also be done on the WYD Central site (which will also feature a Twitter feed page and a daily blog). Various pilgrim group from the US and several USCCB departments will serve as “embedded tweeters” tweeting live from the various WYD events. A blog will be updated daily from Madrid with information about what's happening every day in Madrid, and how the on-site pilgrims are handling the heat.
To create your own avatar visit virtualworldyouthday.org or the virtualworldyouthday Facebook page.