More Youth Day Proposals Given to Vatican

Definitive Program Expected at End of This Month

Archbishop Orani João Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro, president of the Organizing Committee of the 2013 World Youth Day (WYD), said that a new agenda for the July 23-28 event was presented in Rome for Pope Francis’ consideration.

Archbishop Tempesta was in Rome for the first Mass of the Holy Father’s pontificate. The Brazilian prelate gave the Pontifical Council for the Laity a series of proposed activities that Pope Francis could choose to participate in, beyond the WYD traditional program.

The archbishop said that the Holy Father will be present at the main ceremonies: the reception, Via Crucis, the vigil and closing Mass. He will also lunch with 12 young people representing all the continents.

Among the proposals is a visit to a favela, to the image of Christ the Redeemer on the Corcovado, and to the shrine of Penha, as well as a meeting with bishops and another with young people who have a religious vocation.

Marcio Queiroz, director of WYD Communications, said that now they must await the Holy Father’s response, and that it is hoped that the official program will be published April 28.

“It was suggested that he visit a favela of Rio, not any one especially. If he accepts, we will assess all the necessary aspects, such as security, accessibility and other important details,” said Queiroz.

Father Carlos Savio Ribeiro, adviser of the Youth Commission of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference (CNBB), was received in audience by Pope Francis. He gave the Holy Father the WYD kit and shirt, and the magazine of the Connected Youths group that is related to the CNBB. The magazine reports on the Church’s work with young people. Father Ribeiro revealed that the Pope said: “How lovely! I want to take part in everything and with great intensity.”

Almost one million faithful have already registered for the WYD. 

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