'Mission Week' to Be Held for 1st Time in Youth Day History
Organizer Speaks of Lead-up to Rio's 2013 WYD
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By Thacio Siqueira
BRASILIA, Brazil, JUNE 6, 2012 (Zenit.org).- For the first time in the history of World Youth Day (WYD), "Days in the Diocese" will be replaced with a "Mission Week." The missions will be held July 17-20 in all the dioceses of Brazil.
Father Marcelo Gualberto Monteiro, secretary general of the Pontifical Council for the Propagation of the Faith, and among those in charge of the preparation and organization of "Mission Week," spoke to ZENIT about his work preparing for the events.
ZENIT: Can you explain how "Mission Week" is being prepared?
Father Monteiro: For the preparation and organization of WYD, we have two teams that manage all the activities: a team formed by the episcopal conference (NBB) and another formed by the local organization committee of Rio de Janeiro.
The two teams have a single objective: to prepare the youth of Brazil and of the world to have a missionary experience in this great celebration with the Holy Father.
One of the NBB teams is planning how to carry out "Mission Week" in Brazil’s 276 dioceses.
ZENIT: Has the "Mission Week" always existed?
Father Monteiro: In previous WYD’s, it was known as "Days in the Dioceses" or Pre-Day, in which young people from other countries enjoyed an experience in the local communities of the WYD host country.
ZENIT: How did the idea of "Mission Week" develop?
Father Monteiro: The Pontifical Council for the Laity took up Brazil’s request that this experience be called "Mission Week" given the reality described in the Aparecida Document on the permanent state of mission, and also because of the missionary characteristic that World Youth Day in Rio will have, beginning with its theme: "Go and make disciples of all nations."
ZENIT: How was the proposal launched by the bishops?
Father Monteiro: The "Mission Week" will be held from July 16-21, 2013, in all the 276 dioceses of Brazil.
During registration in July of that year, youth from afar, who wish to do so, will be able to select a diocese registered in the system to enjoy this missionary experience.
ZENIT: Will all the dioceses receive young missionaries?
Father Monteiro: For logistical reasons, not all the dioceses will receive youth from other countries. However, those that don’t receive them will also be in communion, holding a "Mission Week" with the young people of their communities.
ZENIT: Will those dioceses have some preparation?
Father Monteiro: To ensure this, our team has worked on preparing some materials to prepare these dioceses. Assistance will be provided at the end of July, with eight topics which will prepare young people and adults who will take part in the "Mission Week." We want the WYD to be not only a moment for youth but for the whole Church.
Another aid that will be launched at the end of July will be a sort of guide so that the communities will celebrate this "Mission Week," where it will be suggested that they reflect on the three pivots of the week: spirituality, culture and missionary solidarity. With this preparation, which will also be translated into other languages, we hope to be able to help young people to take part in Rio’s WYD with a greater awareness of their missionary responsibility in the Church.
[Translation by ZENIT]