World Youth Day Rio 2013 will be preceded by a week of missions that will be called Missionary Week (MW), throughout Brazil before hundreds of thousands of pilgrims arrive for the global youth event.
Father Jefferson Gonçalves, director of pre-World Youth Day activities, said the country’s traditional “Days in the Dioceses” will instead be a Missionary Week to be held July 17-20 in 2013.
The week aims to give young people the chance to participate in spiritual activities, works of solidarity with local communities, as well as missionary and cultural events.
Organizer Raphael Fritz said families will provide hospitality for the young people taking part in the Missionary Week to give them a more authentic experience of what life is like locally.
The decision to turn the “Days in the Dioceses” into a missions week was made by Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, during his visit to Rio de Janeiro in February.
Fr. Goncalves said he hopes the event will “leave as a legacy to future World Youth Days this experience of leading young people into missionary discipleship.”