BY Martin Dunlop | August 17 2012 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Scotland braced for a spiritual samba

Young Catholics throughout the country prepare to stage their own World Youth Day next summer

Young Catholics from across the country have been invited to their own World Youth Day in Scotland next summer.

World Youth Day 2013—Scotland’s Rio will run July 25-28, in conjunction with the international event in the Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro and will provide an opportunity for young Scottish Catholics who cannot make it to Brazil to join together and explore their Faith, pray together and to experience a little of the magic of a World Youth Day (WYD) event.


Plans unveiled

As the SCO went to press, the Catholic Youth Service Scotland (CYSS) was preparing to unveil plans for the event at St Mirin’s Cathedral, Paisley, on Wednesday afternoon.

Archbishop-elect Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland’s representative working with the CYSS on next year’s Scottish event at Stirling University, was at the launch.

Archbishop-elect Tartaglia, who attended WYD 2008 in Sydney, Australia, believes Scotland’s Rio will be a fantastic event for young Catholics to participate in.

“For hundreds of thousands of young Catholics called together from all over the world by the Holy Father, World Youth Day is a youthful festival of faith in Jesus Christ, exuberant, joyful and somehow at the same time devout and deeply religious,” he said. “Young people who come to Scotland’s Rio next July will tap into a unique and unforgettable experience of Church and culture, faith and friendship, liturgy and life.”


WYD experience

World Youth Day—which was founded by Blessed John Paul II, and first took place in Rome in 1986—is observed every summer by young Catholics worldwide, though a larger international gathering of Catholics from around the world is normally held every three years. Last August saw more than one million pilgrims, including many Scottish Catholics, gather in the Spanish capital, Madrid, for a week-long celebration, which culminated in a huge open-air Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI.

The next event in Rio de Janeiro has been brought forward by a year as Brazil is the host nation for the football World Cup in the summer of 2014.

Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen intends to lead a WYD pilgrimage to Brazil from his own diocese next summer and some smaller Scottish groups are also expected to attend the event in Rio de Janeiro.

Due to the financial implications of taking groups of young people to Brazil in a time of economic recession, however, CYSS is organising the Scotland’s Rio event to give more young people here the opportunity to enjoy something very close to the WYD experience.


Scotland’s Rio

Christine Riddoch, chairwoman of CYSS, said that the Scottish event will try to follow a ‘very similar programme’ to the international WYD gathering and will include opening and closing Masses, Catechesis sessions, Reconciliation and Stations of the Cross, which has become a hugely symbolic part of the WYD programme.

“When it became clear that not many groups from Scotland would be able to attend Rio we decided we wanted to give the young people of Scotland their own WYD experience,” Ms Riddoch said. “The WYD experience brings home to all of us that we are part of the universal Church and it is a life-long experience for young people. We want to bring a bit of that to the young people of Scotland.”

Ms Riddoch added that she hopes Scotland’s Rio will provide young Scottish Catholics with ‘as wide and broad an experience of the Church as possible’ and also ‘the chance to celebrate their own country and their Faith together.’

The four-day Scotland’s Rio event will be open to 14-25 year olds, and Scotland’s young Catholics will find out more details in the coming weeks and months about how to apply courtesy of their diocesan youth officers.

Wednesday afternoon’s launch began with the celebration of Mass for the Feast of the Assumption at St Mirin’s Cathedral. Ms Riddoch highlighted that Blessed John Paul II had ‘made it clear that the feast is part of the WYD celebrations’ and that the CYSS was, therefore, keen to launch Scotland’s Rio on the feast day.

WYD 2013 will take place in Rio de Janeiro from July 23-28. The theme for next year’s event is: Go and make disciples of all nations.



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