International Meeting on World Youth Days

Vatican City, 22 March 2012 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for the Laity is promoting a meeting of youth pastoral care workers to reflect on World Youth Days (WYD) and prepare for next year’s WYD in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The meeting, due to be held in Rocca di Papa near Rome from 29 March to 1 April, will bring together delegates from ninety-eight countries, as well as the organising committees of WYD Madrid 2011 and WYD Rio 2013.

A communique released this morning by the Pontifical Council for the Laity explains that this will be “an important moment of reflection for the pastoral care workers” who number “more than 300, representing 45 communities, associations and Catholic youth movements”.

Work will begin on 29 March with a welcome address from Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The rest of the day will be dedicated to a study of organisational and pastoral aspects of WYD Madrid 2011, and the fruits it has yielded throughout the world. Participants will include Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, and Yago de la Cierva and Fr. Gregorio Rolgan, respectively executive director and secretary general of WYD Madrid 2011.

On Friday 30 March attention will turn to Rio de Janeiro. The challenges and expectations of next year’s WYD will be presented by Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta O. Cist. of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro; Msgr. Eduardo Pinheiro da Silva, president of the Brazilian Episcopal Commission for Youth; Fr. Carlos Savio, head of the youth office of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, and the WYD Rio 2013 organising committee.

Saturday 31 March will be dedicated to reflection on the “formation of young people; a mission priority for the Church”, with contributions from Bishop Josef Clemens, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and Fr. Fabio Attard, counsellor general of the Salesians for youth pastoral care. On Palm Sunday 1 April, which also marks twenty-seventh diocesan World Youth Day, the delegates will participate in Mass presided by Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square.

– Fr Sammy will be attending on behalf of the SACBC.

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