The upcoming WYD 2011

Capital of the youth”Madrid will be the capital of world youth”. With these words the archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, commented on the ratification of a cooperation agreement between the WYD Organizing Committee and the city’s autonomous community Esperanza Aguirre on June 22. “The agreement will facilitate the WYD preparations and execution, which we are sure will be a success”, the Cardinal said, explaining that the Agreement stipulates cooperation in the areas of security, health, transportation and accommodation. Madrid’s autonomous community, according to the agreement, will accommodate pilgrims in hostels, schools, and public buildings, devoting “special attention” to the sectors of transportation, health and security “to provide contingencies”. The Government cooperates in conjunction with the Organizing Committee and the Community of Madrid in the WYD preparations. The way of SantiagoIn a letter the bishops of Galicia invite the local youth to take part in the pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela in August 2010 and in the Madrid WYD in 2011. “These are two major opportunities to experience Church membership and to witness Christian faith also owing to the presence of so many of your peers”, said the bishop of Lugo, mons. Alfonso Carrasco, director of pastoral care in the region. The youth pilgrimage to Compostela will take place August 5 to 8 2010. “In 2011 – continues the letter – the WYD will provide us with the opportunity to meet Benedict XVI in Madrid”. While looking forward to the above-mentioned events, the dioceses of Galicia (Santiago, Lugo, Tui-Vigo, Orense e Mondonedo-Ferrol) from July 10 to August 8 will display the Cross, symbol of the WYD. Various initiativesA monthly catechesis itinerary will accompany the youth towards Madrid 2011. It’s the initiative of the diocese of Alcalà. The catechesis proposes themes linked by the red thread of the history of Salvation, proclaimed also with videos loaded on You Tube. The catecheses present a common itinerary for all parishes, ecclesial movements and associations. Contents can be downloaded from the website www.paramilavidaescristo.es/formacion.html. Also the Salesian works in Madrid are preparing to welcome thousands of young people expected for the meeting with the Pope in August 2011. A team of Salesians and Daughters of Our Lady Help of Christians pastoral directors are coordinating logistics for the youth’s accommodation. Next year, the Salesians’ pastoral activities will take place in conjunction with the WYD across religious institutions, parishes and youth centres. The WYD catechesis and motto will constitute the themes for reflection, “in order to encourage the youth to feel they are members of the Church and for them to fully acknowledge their Christian vocation”, claim the directors of Salesians pastoral care. Pastoral celebrations, campaigns and literature will highlight values such as ecclesiality, communion and internationality during the entire course of 2011. Church activityEach year the Spanish Bishops’ Conference releases a “Justificatory Report” presenting an accurate rendition of the Common inter-Diocesan Fund allocation and on the Spanish Church, documenting the activity of Spain’s 69 dioceses. The 2008 activity Report presented a few days ago, details the allocation of resources provided by taxpayers’ voluntary contributions. “The State saved thousands of millions of euros and although accurate figures have not been released, 30 million euro were confirmed to be a truthful estimate”, said the vice-Secretary of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference Msgr. Fernando Giménez Barriocanal, during the Report’s presentation. Msgr. Barriocanal spoke of the Church’s commitment in liturgical, pastoral care, and charitable works. To this regard, the vice-Secretary of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference recalled that the Church is the major charitable institution in Spain. Msgr. Giménez Barriocanal underlined, “the importance of charitable activity in the Country is given by Gospel proclamation and living faith”. Owing to the support of Caritas and of Manos Unidas, a Catholic NGO, “almost three million people have availed themselves of the services of four thousand five hundred hospitality centres in Spain”. The Report also provides data on the cultural activities, valuing the Church’s major contribution in the conservation of 33% of Spain’s monuments. The Church makes a great effort to fulfil this commitment, which the whole of society benefits from. In fact, religious tourism provides linked activities. In 2008, for example, 125.141 pilgrims followed the Compostela Way. In 2010, proclaimed the Compostela Holy Year, an even greater number of pilgrims are expected to arrive.

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