WASHINGTON (October 5, 2001) -- Groups of young people between the ages of 16 and 35 can now register for the upcoming World Youth Day (WYD) to be held on July 23--28, 2002 in Toronto, Canada.
"I am delighted that registration has officially begun for World Youth Day 2002 in Canada, said Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, the Canadian national director. By attending this great international event, you are responding to the invitation of Pope John Paul II to be salt of the earth and light of the world. Now more than ever before, the world needs World Youth Days!"
For the first time WYD organizers are offering the option to register on-line at www.wyd2002.org. It is also possible to register by mail.
The registration process consists of three phases. In phase one a group identifies itself and provides general information. In this phase a group is asked to contribute $10 per group member to a Solidarity Fund administered by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. This Fund assists people from less privileged countries to participate in World Youth Day. The Council for the Laity is the Vatican agency responsible for WYD.
At the completion of phase one, groups are linked to the second phase and asked to enter a billing code number. The registration billing code for all U.S. groups is 100. Groups will also be assigned a unique group number to be used for all subsequent communications and payments.
In phase two, groups will be able to choose from among four differently priced packages. Choice will depend on whether or not a group wants the WYD meal plan and on whether they are participating in the entire WYD program or just attending the final two days of it. Packages are priced from $160 to $40 per person. All packages include admission to the WYD events, ground transportation in Toronto, emergency medical and health insurance, and a special "pilgrim's bag". In addition, all week-long packages include "simple accommodations" at no cost.
Groups registering online can complete phases one and two at the same time. The third phase of registration, which will follow at a later time, will ask larger groups to subdivide into smaller units. Subgroups can also be created on the basis of special need, e.g., language spoken.
In addition to the Vatican Solidarity Fund contribution and the registration fee, all U.S. groups are asked to contribute an additional $10 per person USCCB fee to a special fund set up by the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference. This fund will assist young people to attend WYD from many Latin American countries. For the previous World Youth Day in Rome $200,000 was raised for this purpose.
For the first time, this U.S. Bishops fund will also help young people to attend WYD from nearly 80 "home mission" dioceses in the U.S. Many of these dioceses are located in poor rural or urban regions of the country.
Though U.S. groups will register directly with the WYD Office in Toronto, the collection of fees will be handled by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the request of the Canadian organizers. A 5% discount on the registration fee will be offered to those who register through the Bishops Conference and whose payment is received by December 3, 2001.
Once a group has completed the phase 2 online registration process, it must log on to www.wydusa.org/payment to determine the total amount owed.
Questions about registration should be directed to the WYD 2002 Office in Toronto by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 416-913-2080. Questions about payment or about general WYD information can be directed to the U.S. Bishops WYD Office by email at email@example.com or by phone at 202-541-3042.
World Youth Day begins on Tuesday, July 23 with a Mass of welcome and concludes on Sunday, July 28 with a Papal Mass. Participants will welcome the Holy Father to the gathering on the afternoon of July 24. In addition, the WYD program features educational sessions with bishops, penitential services, spiritual and cultural activities ranging from social service projects to concerts and from artistic displays to panel discussions. An overview of the WYD 2002 program is available at: www.wydusa.org.
When asked how the recent terrorist attacks might affect World Youth Day, Bishop Kevin M. Britt, chairman of the U.S. Bishops Subcommittee on Youth and Young Adults, said he thought the violence demonstrated how essential it is to gather and proclaim the gospel message of hope. "The Holy Father has reminded us repeatedly of the words of Jesus: 'Do not be afraid.' I say to everyone, do not be afraid to come to World Youth Day and be a witness to the power of the love of God and to the peace and hope the Holy Spirit brings."
For information contact: Marianne Fischer at 202-541-3042.