Onwards to World Youth Day 2011: 6,000 Salesians, on their way to Madrid
Taking care of WYD pilgrims is the focus of preparatory work
The congregations and religious orders have worked on World Youth Day (WYD) for a while now to try to get as many youth as possible to go to Madrid. One example is the Congregation of the Salesians, founded by Saint John Bosco in 1841.
All throughout Spain, the Congregation has been lending a helping hand to WYD by attracting thousands of young members of the Salesian Youth Movement from all over the world to the Spanish capital. To ensure that as many youth as possible can attend the celebration, they have been relying heavily on the Salesian centers in Madrid, which have also offered the use of their facilities to WYD. It was recently estimated that between 5,000 and 6,000 Salesian pilgrims will participate.
The coordination and planning for the Salesian Youth Movement is being handled from Spain, where pilgrims will arrive a few days before WYD to participate in a youth celebration in preparation for the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI.
According to the Salesian Congregation, there is a pastoral team that is in charge of all of the details. For example, the Salesian houses in and around Madrid are currently discerning the best way to attend to the pilgrims. They’ve also created various work teams such as administration, pastoral activities, volunteers, logistics, and communication.
Also in Education Centers
Salesian Schools, youth centers and parishes are also immersed in the preparation of this huge youth celebration in 2011. Reflection themes that relate to the WYD theme and catechesis have been created as resources for the centers that are helping pilgrims prepare for the experience.
Antonio, one of the Salesian youth that will participate in this great youth gathering emphasizes that “It is important to prepare the necessary things for WYD very well so that its message penetrates deep into the hearts of each young person.” For this reason, the Salesian Movement has created a special poster that shows Jesus as a rock. This serves as a reminder that we should be planted and built up in Christ. According to the Salesians, there are two fundamental aspects of the Salesian spirituality: being and doing. On the poster, the rock is in the form of a windmill and includes the primitive chrismon symbol as well as the WYD 2011 logo.
“This time it’s our turn to welcome youth from all over the world. There will be many Salesians and we are ready to make WYD Madrid the best ever!” Antonio enthusiastically exclaimed.