Lisbon with 6,300 host families and 1,076 spaces validated for WYD

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One month before the World Youth Day (WYD), the Diocese of Lisbon registers 6,300 families welcoming pilgrims and 1,076 collective accommodation spaces, “exceeding expectations,” the coordinator of the organizing committee told Lusa news agency.

“It’s above what we expected. In the case of the Diocese of Lisbon, we had to find, approximately, space for 200 thousand pilgrims. At this moment, within what we have validated, we are going to be above that, capacity,” João Clemente, coordinator of the WYD Organizing Committee for the Diocese of Lisbon, estimated to Lusa news agency.

According to the assessment made by João Clemente, 1,076 collective housing spaces have been validated so far in the 22 municipalities that make up the Diocese of Lisbon, and 6,300 host families have been found.

In the collective accommodation spaces it will be possible to accommodate 215 thousand pilgrims, in the homes of host families 22 thousand.

Regarding parish volunteers, the Diocese of Lisbon has so far managed to raise 12 thousand people, a number considered “very positive” by the organization.

These volunteers, João Clemente explained, will help prepare the spaces where the pilgrims will sleep, the breakfasts, and give information about food and transportation.

“The allocation of pilgrims to parishes has already begun. That is, some parishes already know the number of pilgrims they will receive, their nationality. These parishes are already starting to contact directly the groups they are going to receive to see the practical aspects. When they arrive, when they leave,” he explained.

João Clemente also highlighted the “unity and motivation” that is felt in the “final stretch” and that, in the case of the Diocese of Lisbon, has been felt more these days due to the presence of the WYD symbols, which will travel throughout the 22 municipalities.

“These symbols have also served to mobilize and motivate people in this final stretch. It has been a pilgrimage and there have been many celebrations. There is a motivation here and a work of gathering people very much around the symbols,” he stressed.

The Diocese of Lisbon is composed of 288 parishes, distributed throughout the municipalities of Lisbon, Loures, Odivelas, Amadora, Sintra, Oeiras, Cascais, Mafra, Vila Franca de Xira, Azambuja, Arruda dos Vinhos, Sobral de Monte Agraço, Torres Vedras, Alenquer, and Cadaval, in the district of Lisbon, and Bombarral, Lourinhã, Caldas da Rainha, Peniche, Óbidos, Nazaré, and Alcobaça, in the district of Leiria.

Considered the biggest event of the Catholic Church, WYD will take place between August 1st and 6th and about 1.5 million people are expected, almost three times the population of the city of Lisbon, with the presence of Pope Francis.

The main ceremonies of the day take place at Parque Tejo, north of Parque das Nações, on the Tagus riverside, on land owned by the municipalities of Lisbon and Loures.

WYD was born from the initiative of Pope John Paul II and the first edition took place in 1986, in Rome.

Pope Francis was the first person to register for WYDLisbon2023 on October 23, 2022 at the Vatican after the Angelus celebration. The gesture marked the worldwide opening of registration for the global meeting of young people with the Pope, which will conclude WYD.

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