The Holy See
back up



In December 1998, the Pontifical Council for the Laity along with the Italian Committee for the World Youth Day (ICWYD) (Comitato Italiano per la Giornata Mondiale della Gioventù 2000 - CIGMG) organized the First Preparatory Meeting for the XV World Youth Day. The present Note, which describes the general outline and the practical organization of World Youth Day 2000, is based on the various contributions given during the Meeting and on some new elements added afterwards.


General Outline of the Activities

1. Theme and Pastoral Programme

The theme, chosen by the Holy Father, will be, “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). In the context of the Great Jubilee, the mystery of the incarnation of the Word, focal point of human history, is announced at the threshold of the third millennium. This gives the XV World Youth Day some peculiar characteristics.

First of all, it will include the essential components of the Jubilee: the pilgrimage, the passing through the “Holy Door”, the profession of faith.

Moreover, the hosting place for this event is Rome - symbolic city: the living memories of the Apostles and the early Martyrs, her characteristics as “shrine city” will make the experience of the pilgrimage particularly intense.

Finally, this time the Pope himself will welcome the young people in his diocese, “at home”, while in previous occasions the young people were welcoming the Pope.

The Pastoral Programme prepared by the ICWYD (CIGMG) includes and clarifies all these elements in order to introduce the World Youth Day theological basis. The programme is available to all youth leaders in English, French, Italian, and Spanish, as an instrument for the preparation of the young participants.

2. Programme of Celebrations

The World Youth Day will start officially with the welcoming of the youth in St. Peter’s Square on Tuesday, August 15, 2000. In the morning of that same day, each group will celebrate the Eucharist for the Feast of the Assumption at their own lodging places.

Focal points of this World Youth Day will be the “Jubilee Pilgrimage” to St. Peter’s tomb and the meeting with his Successor. In order to enable all the young pilgrims to experience both events, the traditional triduum of preparation preceding the Vigil and the Mass with the Pope will be modified.

As it is foreseen that already from August 15-19 there will be hundreds of thousands of young people in Rome, they will be divided into three major subgroups, that will be lodged in three different areas and will carry on independent activities during the triduum (August 16, 17, 18).

For every subgroup there will be one day reserved for the Jubilee Pilgrimage. This will begin in Via della Conciliazione, include passing through the Holy Door, and conclude with a stop inside the Vatican Basilica at the “Altar of the Confession”, while multilingual Jubilee catechesis will be taking place along the way. The area, located in the historical centre of Rome, will be accessible only to the members of the designated subgroup, following a precise timetable. The day of the “Jubilee Pilgrimage” will also have a penitential dimension.

At the same time, during the morning the other two subgroups will have the traditional catechesis and the Eucharistic Celebration in their own lodging areas, and in their own language. In the afternoon, time will be dedicated to meet with the hosting community, to visit the Basilicas, (with the exception of St. Peter’s), and participate in the Incontragiovani programme.

On Friday, August 18, the Via Crucis will take place along Rome’s central streets, and at the same time, in some of the lodging places.

Finally, on Saturday morning all the groups will gather at the Campus of the Tor Vergata University, where the Vigil and the Eucharistic Celebration will be presided over by the Holy Father on the 19th and the 20th of August.

3. Incontragiovani

The programme Incontragiovani will take place on August 16-18 afternoon (with the exception of the time dedicated to the Via Crucis). This will consist of various manifestations with the purpose of sharing artistic, religious, and spiritual experiences of faith and life of the young people from all over the world.

Every group wishing to present a particular initiative can ask that it be included in the general programme. However, initiatives should reflect the spirit of the World Youth Day. Namely, they should be:

  • open to all
  • inspired by the pastoral theme of the World Youth Day
  • developed in a simple style
  • distributed over all lodging areas, following the IWYDC’s indications
  • characterized by clear religious contents

Following these criteria, prayer meetings, vigils, exhibitions, concerts, recitals, theatre presentations and all kinds of activity could be organized, thus including sharing meetings prepared by Movements, Associations, and Communities, as well as gatherings with diocesan Bishops.

Costs connected with renting of space and presentation will be met by the promoting group. However, the ICWYD (CIGMG) will act as guarantor that fair prices be requested.

Projects of activities must be presented to the ICWYD (CIGMG) by October 31, 1999, using a special form that is being distributed. The ICWYD, in collaboration with the PCL, will examine all proposals. The final programme will be published in the “Pilgrim’s Handbook”.

4. Hospitality in the Italian Dioceses

After consideration of the positive results of Loreto 1995 and Paris 1997, the ICWYD (CIGMG) invites the groups to consider the possibility of visiting the Italian dioceses immediately before World Youth Day, from August 10-14.

Non-Italian youth groups, coming to Rome for the celebration, will thus have the opportunity of a close contact with the faith experience of Italian youth, and will establish or strengthen bonds between their ecclesial community and the one hosting them.

All Italian dioceses will be offering hospitality, with the exception of those close to Rome, that will receive the pilgrims from August 14-20. The request for hospitality should be addressed to ICWYD (CIGMG) that will encourage in every possible way the renewing of former contacts (twin-dioceses, “fidei donum” missionaries, previous encounters, Italian immigrants’ communities, etc.), trying to avoid concentration only on “tourist attracting” cities.

The dioceses will offer free, simple accommodation, while the travel costs have to be met by the participants.