US Groups Form Third Largest Going to World Youth Day in Rio


Groups from the United States comprise the third largest national delegation of pilgrims going to the 28th World Youth Day, this year slated for July 23-28 in Rio de Janeiro.

The current number of U.S. registrants is currently over 7,000, said Paul Jarzembowski, program coordinator for youth and youth ministry of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. About 40 U.S. bishops also are expected to participate in the event.

The list of bishops who plan to attend includes Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York; Cardinal Seán O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap. of Boston; Cardinal Theodore McCarrick , archbishop emeritus of Washington; Cardinal William Levada, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver; Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. of Philadelphia; Archbishop Gustavo García-Sillar, M.Sp.S. of San Antonio; and Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee.

Among groups who plan to attend are those from the Salesians of Don Bosco USA, Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida, the Vietnamese Lasallian Youth, the Neocatecumenal Way, the Institute of the Incarnate Word, and the (arch) dioceses of New York; Newark; Boston; Portland in Oregon: Rockville Center, New York; Honolulu, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Brooklyn, New York; Fresno, California; San Bernardino, California; Lincoln, Nebraska; Venice, Florida; San Antonio; and Washington. Other parish and youth and young adult groups from across the United States also are slated to attend.

Pope John Paul II initiated World Youth Day in 1986 as a way to reach out to young Catholics. It is celebrated in the Diocese of Rome every Palm Sunday.  Internationally it is celebrated in different cities around the world every two or three years. The last international World Youth Day was celebrated in Madrid in August 2011.  In 1993, it was celebrated in Denver.  Other international World Youth Days have been held in Buenos Aires (1987); Santiago de Compostela, Spain (1989); Czestochowa, Poland (1991); Manila, Philippines (1995); Paris (1997); Rome (2000); Toronto (2002); Cologne (2005); and Sydney (2008).