PEOPLE REGISTERED FOR WORLD YOUTH DAY
And Organizers Counting on Even More to Attend
VATICAN CITY, JULY 12, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Some 200,000
young people have registered so far for the 17th World Youth Day in Toronto. And
organizers expect even more to show up.
In a statement issued today by the Vatican Information
Service, the committee organizing the event explained that many youths from poor
countries, especially in Latin America, are having trouble obtaining visas.
The Pontifical Council for the Laity has published the
program of events for World Youth Day, whose theme is "You are the salt of
the earth ...You are the light of the world."
World Youth Day will officially open the afternoon of
Tuesday, July 23, with a Mass at Exhibition Place presided over by Cardinal
Aloysius Ambrozic, archbishop of Toronto. The cardinal will welcome young people
from around the world.
The welcoming ceremony with the Pope is scheduled for the
afternoon of Thursday, July 25, at Exhibition Place. On the mornings of July 24,
25 and 26, in more than 100 churches and civic centers in Toronto, there will be
sessions of catechesis for young people in various languages, led by bishops.
On the afternoons of July 24, 25 and 26, young people will
be able to visit Coronation Park, christened "Duc in Altum Park" for
the occasion. Confessionals will be installed in the park and priests will be
available for confession in various languages. One area of the park will be
reserved for eucharistic adoration.
(Stoles specially made in Mexico will be used by priests
hearing confessions. A Tuesday story incorrectly said the stoles would be used
during the papal Mass.)
In Exhibition Place on the afternoons of July 24, 25 and
26, there will be the Youth Festival which will include artistic, cultural and
spiritual events. For the first time, there will be the opportunity to
participate in social service projects.
On the afternoon of July 26, the Way of the Cross will
take place in several areas of Toronto. The main procession will depart from
City Hall at 7:30 p.m. and will cross the city center along University Avenue.
The climax of World Youth Day will be the vigil and Mass
presided over by John Paul II at Downsview Park on the evening of Saturday, July
27, and the morning of July 28. Young people will walk to Downsview Park after 8
a.m. on Saturday morning from various points of the city. The vigil begins at 8
p.m. and will include prayer, music, testimonies and the Holy Father's words.
The Pope will celebrate the concluding Mass on Sunday,
July 28, at 9:30 a.m.
More than 52,000 young people and 125 bishops will attend
from the United States. The U.S. bishops' Web site for the event is
Some 20,000 young Italians will also go to Canada to
participate in the event, the Italian bishops' conference reported.