World Youth Day 2013Wednesday, April 11, 2012
In preparation for World Youth Day (WYD) 2013, and in review of the last World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, a group of 300 delegates representing the Episcopal Conferences of 99 countries and 45 international movements, associations and communities was part of an international meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, March 29 to April 1, 2012, at Rocca di Papa, outside Rome. Father Thomas Rosica, C.S.B, CEO of Salt + Light Television and former National Director of Canada’s World Youth Day in 2002, was the delegate of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishop (CCCB) at this international gathering. The CCCB had asked Father Rosica to coordinate the Canadian delegation to Madrid in 2011, and also named him World Youth Day coordinator for the Canadian delegation to Rio de Janiero, Brazil, July 23-28, 2013.
During the four-day meeting at Rocca di Papa, Father Rosica gave his report to the assembly on Canada’s participation in the Madrid event last summer, and related the key points that surfaced from the evaluations of the nearly 6000 young Canadians who took part in WYD 2011 as well as 24 Canadian Bishops and over 100 priests, deacons and religious. Participants in the meeting included the Archbishop of Rio de Janiero and a large government delegation from Brazil.
During the news conference at the end of the meeting, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, said that “WYD truly was a prophetic intuition on the part of Blessed John Paul II, and marked a revolution in the field of youth pastoral care. … And Benedict XVI has explained how WYD opens up a new way of being Christian.” With the Rio celebration, WYD is returning to Latin America, 26 years after the first international WYD, held in Buenos Aires in 1987.
The WYD website is available in five languages, www.rio2013.com. The WYD page on Facebook and Twitter already has 600,000 followers, and bookings for pilgrim groups will be open as of July 2012.
In the next few weeks, youth leaders across Canada will be receiving a detailed report from Father Rosica and the CCCB regarding participation in WYD 2013. Please note that the minimum age for participation in the Rio event will be 18 years old. More information on WYD is available at www.wydcentral.org, a special website set up by Father Rosica and Salt and Light Television last year. This site presents an historic overview of World Youth Days as well as the most up-to-date information on WYD 2013 in Rio de Janiero.