Information sheet Rio 2013



Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 23-28 July 2013

INFORMATION SHEET (20 December 2012)



I. General Outline of WYD 2013

1. Theme

The theme for the 28th World Youth Day is “Go and make disciples of all nations!” (cf Mt 28:19).

The Holy Father addressed his customary message to the youth of the world in which he illustrates the WYD theme. The document will form a basis for preparation for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. It was issued in November 2012 and is available on the Vatican website:


2. Programme of events (23-28 July 2013)

The 28th World Youth Day will officially open at the Opening Mass presided by Archbishop Orani João Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday 23 July 2013 at 6 o’clock in the evening. It will take place on Copacabana Beach, a well-known venue for large gatherings.

The 24, 25 and 26 July will be a “triduum” or three days of preparation leading up to the Vigil and Mass with the Holy Father. The traditional catechesis will take place on each of these three mornings. It will be given in different languages by bishops from all over the world in church and civic venues in Rio de Janeiro.

During these the three days, particular importance will be given to the sacrament of Reconciliation. It will be available in various languages at the catechesis sites. The WYD Rio 2013 Organising Committee are in the process of selecting a venue in the city where confessions will be available in many languages, and where there will be a special place for Eucharistic adoration.

Youth Festival activities (see no. 3) will take place at locations around Rio de Janeiro from 22 to 26 July outside the times scheduled for main events and catechesis.

The welcome for the Holy Father will take place on Thursday 25 July in the evening with a solemn Welcome Ceremony at Copacabana Beach (the same location as that used for the Opening Mass).

On Friday 26 July at the same location, along the Via Atlantica, there will be a Way of the Cross beginning at 6 o’clock in the evening.

The culmination of World Youth Day will be the Vigil with the Holy Father on Saturday night, 27 July, and the Papal Mass on the morning of Sunday 28 July. These events will take place in the area of Guaratiba, in the western part of Rio de Janeiro.


3. Youth Festival

The Youth Festival will take place at locations around Rio de Janeiro from 22 to 26 July outside the times scheduled for main events and catechesis. The Youth Festival will include a variety of activities that will allow young people from all over the world to share their artistic, religious and spiritual experiences of faith and life.

Groups wishing to present an activity to be included in the Youth Festival programme should apply through the website of the Rio Organising Committee before 25 December 2012 ( The proposals will be studied by the Religious and Cultural Events Sector of the Rio Organising Committee:

Youth Festival activities should reflect the spirit of World Youth Day. They should be:

            - open to all without charge

            - inspired by the pastoral theme of World Youth Day

            - simple and straightforward in style

            - clearly religious in inspiration.

Following these criteria, the Youth Festival will include prayer meetings, vigils, exhibits, concerts, recitals, films, dance and theatre, as well as gatherings organised by bishops’ conferences, or by movements, associations, communities and religious congregations.

Locations will be assigned by Youth Festival coordinators after giving full consideration to the wishes and requirements of the promoting groups. As far as possible, basic technical equipment will be provided by the Rio organisers.

 The Rio Organising Committee and the Pontifical Council for the Laity will examine all proposals and make the final selection. The programme will be published in the “Pilgrim’s Handbook”.


4. Mission Week (Days in the Dioceses) 16-20 July 2013

It has become a tradition of World Youth Day for the dioceses of the host country to offer hospitality to young pilgrims on their way to the WYD host city.

The dioceses of Brazil (with the exception of the host city archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro and some other dioceses that cannot take part in Mission Week) invite all interested groups to take this opportunity. The list of available dioceses can be found on the webpage  Links to the diocesan websites are included.

In keeping with the theme of this WYD, the Days in the Dioceses will be called “Mission Week”. Young pilgrims will stay in schools, parish centres, sports halls and family homes. Activities will include gatherings with the local Church community, times of prayer and pilgrimage, participation in social and mission projects, and events of various kinds: musical, artistic, gastronomic, etc.

The leaders of groups that wish to take part in Mission Week must register for this online. It can be done while registering for WYD (see the next paragraph) or it can be done at a later date. The leaders select the preferred diocese, and when the WYD registration process has been completed, they wait to be contacted by email.

Host dioceses may ask for a contribution towards board and lodging. Participants will cover their own travel expenses (including transport from the host diocese to Rio de Janeiro).

The Days in the Dioceses will conclude on 20 July with a Mass in which the diocesan bishop will send the young people forth to Rio de Janeiro to take part in WYD.

Given the vast expanse of Brazil’s territory, the journey from the host diocese to Rio de Janeiro could be very long. This means that groups will have to organise their trip carefully in order to ensure that they arrive on time.


II. Practical organisation


1. Registration

All those wishing to participate in the 28th World Youth Day need to register officially. It is best to register as groups, but individual registration is possible for those going alone.

Registration is also essential for  groups and individuals who are arranging their own accommodation and staying in hotels, and young people from the diocese of Rio de Janeiro. Only those who have registered will be given passes for WYD events.

All registrations are done through the website of the WYD Rio 2013 Organisers. Bishops’ conferences, movements, associations, communities and other groups are asked to collect the names of those in their groups and to register them at:

Groups and individuals who are unable to register over the internet should request a hard-copy registration form from the Rio organisers (see postal address below).

Groups should be registered by one leader who will be asked to name a second leader. At the start of the registration process, each group is given a registration number to be used in further communications. As explained above, registration for Mission Week is integrated in the online WYD registration system.

In order to facilitate the management of pilgrim hospitality, the Rio WYD registration system places a maximum limit of 50 members per group, including the leader and second leader. If larger groups wish to register, they should divide their members into a main group and related subgroups. Each of these groups must have a leader and a second leader, both of whom must be over 18 years of age. In mixed groups it is best if one of the leaders is male and the other female. The Rio organisers will provide instructions on how to link the subgroups with the main group. You should note that after the initial registration of the group has been made, the leader will have to register each of the members of the group in order to facilitate their entry into Brazil. Further information about this is provided on the website in the FAQ section:

N.B. Bishops intending to take part in WYD should not register as part of a pilgrim group. They are asked to complete the individual registration form for bishops and to send it as soon as possible to the Youth Section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity (address below). Their registration data will be entered into the reserved area of the online registration system shared with the Rio WYD Organisers. The form can be acquired from the PCL Youth Section or from bishops’ conferences.


2. Entry documents for Brazil – visa and “protocolo de inscrição”

Pilgrims from some countries will need an entry visa for Brazil. In order to find out if your groups will require a visa, consult the website:

Visa application is not included in the registration system. Participants need to consult the nearest embassy or consulate and initiate the procedure at least 3 months before travelling to Brazil. There are only 32 countries in which Brazil does not have diplomatic representation. Pilgrims from these countries should consult the nearest embassy or consulate.

Pilgrims from outside Brazil, whatever their nationality, will require a document of accreditation that will identify them as WYD participants. The Rio organisers will provide each registered person with this document called “protocolo de inscrição”. It must be endorsed by the Church authorities in their home country.

This document must be presented to the consular authorities in order to obtain a special free visa for WYD 2013. Pilgrims must complete an electronic form that can be found on the website of the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations Consular Section ( This must be presented to the embassy or consulate together with your passport (or equivalent travel document) and the protocolo de inscrição provided by the Rio organisers.

The same document is also used to authorise entry into Brazil. When pilgrims arrive in Brazil – including those who do not require a visa – they should have their protocolo de inscrição with them. This will avoid the possibility of discretional power being used by immigration officials to authorise or refuse entry into Brazil, a measure regularly used on the basis of the principle of reciprocity.

The immigration authorities recommend that visitors carry their protocolo de inscrição with them during their stay in Rio de Janeiro, as well as a photocopy of their passport and, where applicable, a photocopy of their visa.


3. Age of participants

World Youth Day activities are addressed to young people. Participants should be at least 14 years of age and preferably at most 30-32. Group leaders and second group leaders must be at least 18.

Young families with children under the age of 14 are certainly welcome to attend, but it must be borne in mind that children are under the sole responsibility of their parents.

All young people under the age of 18 must be accompanied by adults (registered in the same group) and carry written authorization from parents or guardians. In any case, in order to organise the participation of minors in WYD, it is recommended that groups adhere to the requirements that apply in their own country concerning minors travelling abroad. 


4. Solidarity Fund

In line with the tradition of World Youth Day, a Solidarity Fund has been established to assist young people from less privileged countries to take part in WYD. Each participant is asked to contribute at least 10 euro to the Fund. Of course, it is possible to give a larger sum as a contribution to this solidarity effort, and this would be very much appreciated by young pilgrims travelling from less fortunate parts of the world.

The contributions made by Brazilian groups will be made in Brazilian reals (26 reals per person) and will be collected by the Rio organisers. The contributions of the other groups will be made in US dollars or euro (US$13 or €10 per person) and will be collected by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Group leaders are asked to collect the contributions from their group members and to make the payment for the group’s contribution when they register.

Groups can make the payment for their solidarity contribution in one of the following ways:

- by credit card (MasterCard or Visa) when registering online. Brazilian groups pay in reals and others pay in US dollars.

- international bank transfer (instructions are provided when making the payment)

- boleto bancário (only groups from Brazil).

Bishops’ conferences and international movements, associations and communities may decide to collect the solidarity contributions of their groups and send it directly to the Pontifical Council for the Laity by means of international bank transfer. Please contact the PCL administration office in this regard:

The funds collected will be managed by the WYD Rio 2013 Organising Committee and the Pontifical Council for the Laity for separate purposes. The Rio organisers will use the funds to help finance the participation of young people from poorer areas of Brazil. The Pontifical Council for the Laity will help to finance the travel expenses of youth from countries that are undergoing economic or political difficulties.

Requests for financial aid will be considered if they are presented, respectively to the WYD Rio 2013 Organising Committee or to the Pontifical Council for the Laity, by bishops’ conferences or dioceses. Requests must be signed by the bishop.


5. Hospitality expenses in Rio de Janeiro

The WYD Rio 2013 Organising Committee will organise accommodation, meals, public transport costs in Rio, accident insurance for registered pilgrims and a pilgrim’s pack. They are offering seven different “packages” to pilgrims, according to specific needs. Prices and details of these packages can be found on the WYD website:


6. Accommodation in Rio

In keeping with the custom of WYD, there are two possible types of accommodation: “simple” (in packages that include accommodation), and “alternative” accommodation. The group’s preference should be clearly indicated when registering by selecting the package option that responds to the needs of the group. Note that the same package option must be selected by everyone in the group.


6.1 Simple accommodation

Those who choose this option (included in packages A1, A3 and B1) need to bring sleeping bags and ground mats with them. Accommodation possibilities include family home stays and accommodation in schools, parish halls, university campuses, gymnasiums, etc.  These options will provide water, showers and washroom facilities.

Groups can, if necessary, request the Rio organisers to extend the number of nights accommodation contained in packages A1 and A3. The limits of this extension go from Sunday 21 July at two o’clock in the afternoon until Wednesday 31 July at twelve midday. The email address for the accommodation sector is:

The accommodation offered in package B1 is available from Friday 26 July.

On Saturday night, 27 July, participants will spend the night in the open with their sleeping bags (each person must bring their own with them) in Guaratiba where the Vigil and Papal Mass will take place. In Rio de Janeiro, July temperatures range from 15°C to  25°C on average.


6.2 Alternative accommodation

Individuals or groups may prefer to organise their own accommodation. In this case they should register for WYD by selecting a package that does not include accommodation (A2, A4, B2 or C), and then cover their accommodation expenses separately in addition to their chosen package.

Hotel booking is done by the pilgrim groups themselves. Booking is not integrated in the online registration system. The Rio organisers can recommend two agencies: TAM Viagens and Havas Creative Tours.

All participants, even those staying in hotels, etc., should bring a sleeping bag and ground mat for the night of Saturday 27 July that will be spent under the stars in Guaratiba.


7. Young people with special needs

The WYD Rio 2013 organisers are taking into account the special needs of young people with handicap in order to ensure that each person will be provided with adequate facilities and will be able to participate fully in WYD. Details of special needs should be indicated during the registration process.


8. Voluntary Service

Volunteers will have an important role in ensuring a successful WYD 2013. Those who are interested in volunteering during World Youth Day, and who are over 18, can apply through the WYD 2013 website:


9. Use of the logo

Bishops’ conferences and dioceses, as well as international movements, associations and communities, can freely use the WYD logo for all free information material regarding WYD (brochures, leaflets, booklets, etc.). However, those wishing to use it for commercial purposes (t-shirts, caps, gadgets, etc.) must request authorisation for its use from the WYD Rio 2013 Organising Committee:



● Pontifical Council for the Laity - Youth Section

I - 00120 - Vatican City

Tel. +39 06 698 69399; Fax +39 06 698 87112




● WYD Rio 2013 Organising Committee

Edifício João Paulo II

Rua Benjamin Constant, 23. Glória

CEP: 20241-150, Rio de Janeiro - RJ.

Tel.: +55 21 3177 2013

Fax +55 21 22522805 (Rosa)


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