International Meeting of Delegates starts preparation of World Youth Day in Madrid


Madrid, January 12, 2011 – Delegates of more than 84 countries and 57 Church groups meet starting today in Madrid to finals the details of organizing the World Youth Day (WYD) to be held in Madrid from August 16 to 21, 2011.

More than 234 delegates from every continent will attend these working sessions, to be held in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, January 12 to 15. The meeting will also be attended by members of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the Vatican “department” in charge of World Youth Days, as well as delegates from all the Spanish provinces.

The Council’s President, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, participated in the press conference presentation of the meeting, where he highlighted that it means entering the “final stages” in the preparation of the event and opening a decisive stage in the course of the spiritual and organizational-logistics preparation of WYD Madrid 2011.”

The South African representative, Barbara Koornbally, told of the various initiatives youth in her country are carrying out in preparation. A replica of the Youth Cross – the original of which has been touring Spain since September 2009 – is going around the entire African country to prepare its young people for August in Madrid.

The delegate from Brazil, Tiago Oliveira, stressed that Brazilian youth “see Spain as a sister country, so they are very excited.” 20,000 Brazilians are expected to participate.

The President of Local Organizational Committee of World Youth Day in Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, expressed his hope that “the event is lively and dynamic”, as representatives will address “first-hand information on their needs and expectations.”

The first meeting Cardinal Rylko held on his arrival in Madrid, was with a group of young volunteers, whom he thanked for their generous collaboration with World Youth Day.

“For many young people from all over the world, it will be very important for them to see your hospitality, your spirit of sacrifice during WYD. Sometimes in hidden – although no less important – tasks,” stressed Rylko. “Don’t tell your friends: You should go to WYD! Instead say: It’s worth going!”

Those attending the International Meeting of Delegates will learn about details on different aspects of the organization: lodging, meals, transportation, registration, visas, and volunteer work.

Delegates will also have the opportunity, during these days, to visit places that will host the main events during WYD: Cuatro Vientos Airbase and the area of the Plaza de Cibeles.


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