27 November 2012 - Yesterday, November 26th, was the first full day of work for the 200 youth apostolate delegates who had come to Rio de Janeiro from 75 countries and 40 movements and youth associations. The preparatory meeting for WYD Rio (July 23-28 2013) involved interventions from Archbishop Orani Tempesta of Rio, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, presentations of the ongoing pilgrimage through Brazil of the WYD Cross and Icon, and a presentation of Rio’s topographical and organisational characteristics.
Cardinal Rylko stated: “World Youth Day on its own will not guide and educate young people in faith: for this it must be integrated into the ordinary pastoral care of young people, with patient and daily work”. To the 200 delegates present, he continued: “WYD is an integral part of the Church’s pastoral care of young people and has a great value for evangelisation”. However, “around WYD there must always be the educational support of dioceses, parishes, movements and associations” so that “a well-prepared WYD touches people’s faith and gives continuity to young people’s faith in daily life. The experience of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, said the Cardinal, shows that youth pastoral leaders have, in recent years, matured an awareness of this need: it is up to the adults and the youth leaders to announce Christ to young people. Young people expect this of them. “Let us put Christ at the centre of things and help young people to discover Him in their own lives”.
Archbishop Tempesta, greeting the delegates and also many WYD volunteers, recalled Pope Paul VI’s message to young people at the end of the Second Vatican Council: “take up the flame of the faith and transmit it to their fellow young people. You are the first missionaries. Go and evangelise your friends.
The afternoon was dedicated to practical information ranging from the ‘pilgrim’s kit’ to meal tickets and transport passes, as well as visas and insurance. The most keenly awaited information concerned security; with information from Robert Azir, one of the coordinators of the Federal Police Force’s special events secretariat: “for WYD we are setting up the best possible security plan, bringing together the Ministry of Defence, the State Police, the City Police: in total 16 agencies will work together under the coordination of the Ministry of Justice”. WYD and the Papal visit, as with other major events held in recent years, will contribute to fine-tuning the security dispositive for other major events still to come: the Soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. “Rio de Janeiro is a different city from that of the past. Security is among many things that have improved. Many areas have been removed from the influence of the drug dealing and criminality, and the statistics prove it. We want these major events to change the negative image we sometimes have in other countries. We are making progress here and we will provide WYD with a city that is orderly and secure”.