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International Meeting on WYD

Rio 2013 – Krakow 2016

Sassone di Ciampino, 10 - 13 April 2014

Press release

Dear Young Friends,

How vividly I recall the remarkable meeting we had in Rio de Janeiro for the Twenty-eighth World Youth Day. It was a great celebration of faith and fellowship! [...] The next stop on our intercontinental youth pilgrimage will be in Krakow in 2016. As a way of accompanying our journey together, for the next three years I would like to reflect with you on the Beatitudes found in the Gospel of Saint Matthew (5:1-12). This year we will begin by reflecting on the first Beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). For 2015 I suggest: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8). Then, in 2016, our theme will be: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7).


With these words that open the Message for the 29th World Youth Day, Pope Francis summed up the spiritual path being offered to the youth of the world for the years between WYDs in Rio de Janeiro and Krakow. It is a journey that follows the way of the Beatitudes in search of “the courage of happiness”.


Youth ministry leaders from all over the world will be proceeding along this route as they meet in Rome from 10 to 13 April on the invitation of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. This will be the first international meeting concerning the event in Krakow, and it will be an important opportunity for evaluation and reflection on the part of those who work for World Youth Day. Approximately 250 delegates are expected from about 90 countries and 45 communities, associations and movements of young Catholics. The organising committees of both Rio de Janeiro 2013 and Krakow 2016 will be present.


The conference will begin on Thursday 10 April with an introductory greeting by Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. The day will be devoted to assessing WYD 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, “a celebration of faith and fellowship”. The speakers will be Cardinal Orani João Tempesta, Archbishop of Rio, and members of the Rio Local Organising Committee (COL). They will review the organisational and pastoral aspects of the event, and its impact on the archdiocese of Rio and on youth ministry in Brazil. An assessment will be made of the pastoral impact of WYD 2013 on the five continents, enriched by the contributions and testimonies of the participants.


On our way to Krakow 2016” is the theme of the sessions on Friday 11 April. Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow, will speak about the significance of WYD for the diocese that will host the event from 26 to 31 July 2016. This will be followed by an introduction on the Church in Poland, with particular attention given to youth ministry. The Krakow Local Organising Committee will be introduced. They will give an initial presentation of the organisation of WYD 2016 and will open discussion on the projects, ideas and pastoral dynamics of the event.


Saturday 12 April will be an opportunity to reflect together on the subject of “The integration of WYD in regular youth ministry”. Bishop Josef Clemens, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, will speak about the Church's commitment to the young from John Paul II to Pope Francis. This will be followed by a panel discussion on the expectations of young people. The panel will include Rev. Daniel Ange, founder of the Jeunesse Lumière school of prayer and evangelisation, Chiara Amirante, founder of the Nuovi Orizzonti Community, and Dr. Bernhard Meuser, promoter and co-author of Youcat. Then, with the contributions of the delegates, focus will be placed on how youth ministry responds to the new challenges presented by the pontificate of Pope Francis in different parts of the world.


On Sunday 13 April, the delegates will attend Palm Sunday Mass presided by Pope Francis in Saint Peter’s Square and the Rome diocesan celebration of the 29th World Youth Day. The Meeting will conclude at the San Lorenzo International Youth Centre.

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