Whether you are a returning pilgrim, or if you are making a leap of faith by signing up to travel over 10,000km to be a pilgrim for the first time, we know there are many questions you probably have. Here are some common questions and answers, but please feel free to contact us should you want to know more!
WHAT IS WYD?
World Youth Day is youth-oriented Catholic Church event for young adults 18 to 35. While the event itself celebrates the Catholic faith, the invitation to attend extends to all youth, regardless of religious convictions.
“Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 29:19).
WHAT IS A PILGRIMAGE?
Going to World Youth Day is not a vacation. Pilgrimages involve many challenges, including: unfamiliar or scarce food, very simple lodgings with few amenities (think gym/church basements with cold or no showers), huge crowds and long lines, having to walk long distances with heavy backpacks, as well as potentially missing or being late for key events due to unforeseen circumstances.
God has a plan for each pilgrim; a pilgrimage is being open to God’s graces.
HOW MUCH WILL THE TRIP COST and WHAT IS INCLUDED?
At this point, we can tell you that the Rio WYD 2013 experience will cost upwards of $5,000 CAD.
- your flight from Edmonton to Curitiba and from Rio de Janeiro to Edmonton
- your Brazil visa
- your transportation during our regular scheduled tours and travels (should a pilgrim choose to do any extra activities which are not in our Itinerary, the extra costs will be the pilgrim’s responsibility)
- your WYD registration and package
- simple meals and lodging (most lodging will be in school/church basements)
- tours to Iguassu Falls and others (see Itinerary)
- your really sweet WYD 2013 swag
We are currently working at making this price go down, however the total amount will depend on the number of pilgrims and other factors beyond our control. Please scroll down for a payment schedule.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREPARE FOR THIS TRIP?
First and foremost – please complete a registration form and send it in ASAP! You have until December 15, 2012 to express your interest. After this, a quick in-person or phone interview will be scheduled with your Youth Minister, Millie Schietzsch, to ensure that all interested individuals are ready to take on the challenge.
Then, there are things we all need to keep in mind in preparation for this trip. Please be aware that some vaccinations are required for travellers to Brazil. Pilgrims will be responsible for ensuring that their vaccinations are up-to-date and that all required vaccinations are done prior to the trip. Please contact us for more info.
Additionally, we all know our personal physical and emotional limits. Brazil is far away from home, and as on any pilgrimage, we will be required to walk for long period of time with all our belongings on our backs, to take the bus for over 10 hours, to travel by plane for upwards of 30 hours with layovers, and so on. It is important to know your limits and to keep that in mind prior to registering.
Come January, we will begin sessions to prepare pilgrims spiritually and emotionally for this trip. Additionally, we will have guest speakers come in to show us what to pack, how to pack, and what NOT to pack. We will find out how to buy the right shoes, the right backpack, the right sleeping bags and mats, etc.
Although we will do group events and fundraising, we strongly encourage each pilgrim to begin fundraising and looking for donors at their own parishes first. Donor letters are available to pilgrims upon request.
WHAT IS BRAZIL DOING TO PREPARE?
Because we are the first of 3 major events coming to Brazil in the next few years (FIFA Cup 2014 & Summer Olympics 2016), the people of Brazil have been working tirelessly to improve the conditions of their country, especially of the popular tourist hub – Rio de Janeiro. Over 40,000 volunteers are preparing to help us out in our journey (check out this video).
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE “OFFICIAL” WEEK OF WYD IN RIO?
World Youth Day in Rio – July 22-28, 2013:
We will attend catechesis sessions each morning with Ukrainian Catholic English-speaking Bishops for three days. The afternoons will be free to spend time doing spiritual activities outlined in the WYD Cultural Guide, as well as doing tourist-type activities. Organizers in Brazil are advising that pilgrims go out in groups of 4 or more at all times.
More detailed information on the daily schedule of events is yet to come from the WYD organizers. Opening day of World Youth Day, pilgrims will attend the Opening Ceremony at Copacabana Beach.
On Friday evening, the Stations of the Cross are presided over by the Holy Father. It is also likely that there will be a “Love and Life Center”, a home base for English-speaking pilgrims which will offer a number of excellent speakers, events, and opportunities for confession. It is also a great place to meet other English speaking pilgrims from around the world.
On Saturday, July 27th, we should be able to do a pilgrimage walk to the final Mass site. If pilgrims choose to participate, they will need to bring their sleeping bag and all supplies required for sleeping outdoors that night. If there are pilgrims who do not wish to walk, public transportation will likely bring them fairly close to the site. Once they have arrived at the site, it is generally another long walk to the group’s assigned seating/sleeping area. The Pope will lead evening prayer for the vigil, and the pilgrims will spend the night sleeping under the stars. The Pope will celebrate Mass in the morning, and then pilgrims will return, very slowly, to their accommodations.
WHAT WILL WE DO AFTER WYD?
We will move from our simple accommodations to a hotel.
Monday, July 29 will be a day the Pilgrims will be able to explore or do anything they want for the entire day.
Tuesday, July 30 will be a day of retreat and a celebration day.
Wednesday, July 31 we will return to Canada.
The WYD Pilgrimage Payment Schedule is as follows:
Registration Deposit – $100 no later than December 15, 2012
Payment 1 – $1000 by January 15, 2013
Payment 2 – $1500 by March 1, 2013
Payment 3 – $1500 by April 15, 2013
Final Payment – May 15, 2013
Please note that payment is provided as such to allow flights to be booked and other arrangements in Brazil to be made for you in advance.
IS THERE A LIMIT OF PEOPLE THAT CAN GO?
We are currently aiming for a small pilgrimage.
WOULD I BE ABLE TO USE MY AIRMILES/REWARDS TO TRAVEL?
Unfortunately no, because with Airmiles you are not guaranteed to travel with the rest of the group.
HOW WILL WE PREPARE FOR THIS PILGRIMAGE?
We will be preparing as a group for WYD, with sessions starting in January. We will have sessions to prepare us spiritually; additionally, we will also discuss the physical aspects, what sorts of gear you may need (backpacks, sleeping bags, proper footwear, etc), what to pack, what NOT to pack, and so on.
This website and our Facebook page (Alberta Goes to Rio’s WYD 2013) will be continually updated with information.
If there are questions which haven’t been answered here, please call, text or email Millie (Youth Director) at (780) 446-1061 or firstname.lastname@example.org and she will do her best to provide answers.