Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, Bishop Denis Brennan, Bishop of Ferns and Bishop Donal McKeown, Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor will join 165 pilgrims from Ireland who will travel in July to World Youth Day (WYD) in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, the world’s largest Catholic country. Over two million people are expected to attend WYD, the theme of which is: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19).
Irish pilgrims will represent dioceses including the Archdiocese of Armagh, Archdiocese of Dublin, Diocese of Ferns, Diocese of Clogher, and will also represent the aid agency Trócaire. During WYD pilgrims will attend churches, halls, gymnasiums and auditoriums which have been reserved for catechesis. Over the week 273 liturgical events will be held in ten different regions in Rio de Janeiro and in neighbouring dioceses.
To coincide with WYD 2013 dioceses in Ireland are preparing special gatherings and events (see below).
Pope Francis will undertake his first international pilgrimage as Pontiff for WYD. The Holy Father will visit the poor and meet with young prisoners while in Rio de Janerio.
World Youth Day was initiated by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1985 to foster faith and solidarity amongst young people. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta is the Patron Saint of World Youth Day and since his beatification, Pope John Paul II is its co-patron.
Trócaire and World Youth Day:
A video will be available shortly in which Hannah Evans from Trócaire will highlight their involvement in WYD. d
Rio in Dublin:
Young people from the Archdiocese of Dublin who are unable to attend World Youth Day in Rio will be able to experience a flavour of World Youth Day in Dublin on the weekend from 26 to 28 July.
Click here for more information on this event.
Brightlights Festival in Kent
For another opportunity to experience World Youth Day without going all the way to Rio, the Brightlights Festival in Kent is an opportunity which some Irish dioceses are availing of for their young people.
The Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin are one Irish diocese who will be attending the Brightlights Festival in Kent and you can read more about their preparations at the following link:
The website for the Brightlights Festival can be accessed by clicking here
Background information on World Youth Day:
Statistics for the Catholic Church in Brazil:
Vatican City, 20 June 2013 (VIS) – For the occasion of Francis’ upcoming apostolic trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to preside at the 38th World Youth Day, statistics have been published concerning the Catholic Church in that country. The information, updated to 31 December 2011, comes from the Central Statistical Office of the Church. The Pope’s journey is scheduled from 22 to 29 July.
Brazil covers a surface area of 8,514,215 square kilometres and has population of 195,041,000 of whom 164,780,000 (84.48%) are Catholic. There are 274 ecclesiastical circumscriptions, 10,802 parishes, and 37,827 pastoral centres. Currently there are 453 bishops, 20,701 priests, 33,230 religious, and 2,903 permanent deacons. There are also 1,985 lay members of secular Institutes, 144,910 lay missionaries, and 483,104 catechists. Minor seminarians number 2,671 and major seminarians 8,956.
A total of 1,940,299 students attend 6,882 centres of Catholic education ranging from kindergartens to universities. There are also 3,257 centres for special education. There are 5,340 institutions belonging to the Church or run by priests or religious in Brazil including: 369 hospitals, 884 clinics, 22 leper colonies, 718 homes for the elderly or disabled, 1,636 orphanages and nurseries, and 1,711 family counselling and other pro-life centres.