Young Canadians participate in a national gathering for the WYD 2013 in Rio de Janeiro

Friday, July 26 2013

Rio_2013_National_gathering(CCCB- Ottawa)… Yesterday, July 25, 2013, for the second time in the history of Canada’s participation in World Youth Day (WYD), Canadian pilgrims had the opportunity to gather for a national celebration at the Vivo Rio Welcoming Center in Rio de Janeiro.  The Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), presided at the celebration. The other Bishops who attend the celebration were: Bishop Jean-Pierre Blais of Baie-Comeau, Bishop André Gazaille of Nicolet, Bishop Bryan Bayda, C.Ss.R, of Saskatoon (Ukrainian) and Auxiliary Bishop Gaétan Proulx of Quebec City.

Rio_2013_National_gathering-1The gathering was a celebration of the Word of God which included musical animation and testimonies and the ceremony was led by Father Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., coordinator of the Canadian delegation to WYD 2013.  Over 600 Canadians took part in the event, along with many American, Australian and British pilgrims.  Archbishop Smith spoke to the assembly about the call of Matthew in the Gospels and the call that comes to each person.  A musical group from the Archdiocese of Montreal provided the music for the ceremony.  The closing song of the celebration was the theme song of the WYD 2002 call Light of the World.  Mr. Sanjeev Chowdhury, Canada’s Consul General in Rio de Janeiro, was also present at the celebration and addressed the assembly at the beginning of the ceremony.  The Canadian Consulate staffs in Rio de Janeiro and the Canadian Ambassador in Brasilia have provided significant assistance to Fr. Rosica and the Canadian delegation over the past six months in preparation for World Youth Day.

Last week, the new offices of the Canadian Consulate in Rio de Janeiro were opened on Rio’s iconic Avenida Atlántica.  The Consul General invited Fr. Rosica to formally bless the new offices of the Consulate with a Catholic ceremony that included the participation of the entire crew of Canada’s Salt and Light Television as well as the staff of the Catholic News Service of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Vivo Rio Welcome Centre is a performing arts facility in the eastern Flamengo area of Rio, on the shores of Guanabara Bay, not far from other WYD activities around the city. The Centre involves the collaboration of the CCCB, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, as well as organizations including the Knights of Columbus, Holy Cross Family Ministries, Salt + Light Catholic Television Network, The Catholic Channel, the National Religious Vocations Conference, The Jesuit Conference USA, Oregon Catholic Press, and World Library Publications.

Sincere thanks to the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus for their generous contribution to the Vivo Rio Welcome Centre and for providing for the Salt and Light Broadcast of all World Youth Day events from Rio de Janeiro.

SL_logo_EN_HighRes_RGBProgram schedule for Salt and Light Television
Throughout the week, Canada’s Salt + Light Television and The Catholic Radio Channel (USA) are broadcasting from the Welcome Center, conducting interviews and interacting with pilgrims in Rio, as well as young people tuning in from around the world. Salt + Light is also broadcasting all events from Rio de Janeiro live on its television network and also through its live-streaming feature on the Salt + Light website (  The entire Salt and Light television feed is being broadcast in at least 30 countries, on television and live streaming.