MANILA, Jan. 31, 2013—Those who could not attend the upcoming World Youth Day (WYD) in Brazil could still participate in the global youth gathering through local celebrations that the parishes and dioceses will orchestrate nationwide.
This is because the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) is set to issue guidelines on how to celebrate the international event locally.
In an interview with YouthPinoy, ECY executive secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta said the on-going formulation of the guidelines is in response to the appeal of Pontifical Council for the Laity president Stanislaw Cardinal Rylko, who encouraged the celebration of the upcoming WYD beyond the host country.
Garganta said Cardinal Rylko made the strong appeal during the second international preparatory meeting with the WYD international and local organizers last November 26 to 29 in Brazil. The Pontifical Council for the Laity is the Vatican organizer of the WYD while the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is their local counterpart.
“Responding to Cardinal Rylko’s strong appeal and invitation for dioceses around the world to celebrate the upcoming WYD, the ECY will help formulate the local WYD celebrations through a set of guidelines that parishes and dioceses can follow,” he said.
But Garganta clarified that the guidelines are only meant to be a basis or template for parishes, schools, communities and dioceses to consider.
“Our proposed guidelines will be shared to the dioceses and down to the grassroots level. But this should be seen only as a template or basis, and should not in any way limit the creativity of the local organizers,” he added.
Pilgrim application for the official ECY-Philippines delegation to the WYD is due today at the National Secretariat for Youth Apostolate (NSYA) office. Garganta said that only 15 groups or 400 individual pilgrims have initially expressed intention to join the WYD under the CBCP ECY’s delegation, ECY-Philippines.
Being the official country delegation, ECY-Philippines is considered to be the biggest Filipino contingent based on pilgrim numbers during the past WYDs.
This year’s pilgrim statistics pales in comparison with the ECY-Philippines’ delegation to the WYD Madrid which consists of at least 40 subgroups, with more than 1,000 initial applicants that were trimmed down to 400 actual pilgrims.
The 27th WYD is slated on July 17 to 28 in Brazil with the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro as the host diocese.
Details on the venue and schedule of the different events of the WYD and the pilgrims’ transportation, accommodation, security and meals are still on the “process of polishing,” according to organizers. (YouthPinoy)