Tuesday, August 23, 2011

WYD 2013: Madrid’s celebration is over but for Rio preparations are just getting started

The next WYD event between 18 and 23 July

More than twenty years on from the meeting in Santiago, in 1987, the WYD returns to Latin America once again. And, as Brazilian bishops themselves explained, the event will be held in two years time as it was in the past, so as to prevent it clashing with the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

During the first press conference held on the subject, the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Father Orani João Tempesta and the President of the Brasilian Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis expressed the gratitude of the Church in Rio de Janeiro at being chosen as the location for the next WYD celebration and explained how Brazilian Catholics were preparing for the event. Indeed, youngsters began the route of the Cross, which will pass through all of Brazil’s 274 dioceses, in less than two years.

The two prelates gave the first news about the event’s organisation: the World Youth Day will be held in July. And, given how little time Brazil has to prepare for the event, the Pope will soon be announcing the themes of the two messages that will guide the run up to the celebrations. The event’s website will also be created and up and running shortly, while for the Brazilian Church, the whole of 2013 will be the young people’s year and this theme will also be given to the annual brotherhood Campaign. Even Brazilian authorities have granted the event’s organisers, access to the infrastructures that are being built for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Olympics in 2016.

In an article published by the agency MissiOnline, Bernardelli recounts the rejoicement of the Brazilian bishops at the announcement that Rio would be hosting

The Archbishop of Rio, Father Orani João Tempesta, illustrated WYD 2013 in a very interesting way: “Over the past few days, he explained, Benedict XVI often referred back to the theme of Europe’s Christian roots. In Latin America, these roots are very strong. But what we are gradually losing sight of is a true understanding of what it means to be a secular state; there is a crisis of values that is deepening. I believe that the journey towards the WYD and the Pope’s visit will be an excellent occasion to live our vocation as a Country that has firm Christian routes.”

Cardinal Damasceno Assis underlined the importance of WYD 2013 for the whole of Latin America: the aim is to bring the greatest number of youngsters from all around the continent as possible to Rio. This is precisely why CELAM, the Council of Latin American Episcopal Conferences is going to be involved in the organisation of the event.

Finally, referring back to the great continental Mission, called for the Aparecida Conference, Bishop Eduardo Pinheiro, head of the Commission for youngsters of the Brazilian Episcopate, underlined the missionary flavour that Rio’s WYD will have, saying that the journey of the Cross through the Brazilian dioceses will be an opportunity for a re-evangelisation.

The Brazilian Church has organised a huge welcome celebration to receive the World Youth Day Cross, for 18 September, to be held in the Field of Mars in São Paulo. This is where the itinerary of the youngster’s symbol will start, crossing all of Brazil’s 274 dioceses.

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