Scouts will be responsible for the reception and check-in of the Journey in Lisbon

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The National Scout Corps (CNE) will be responsible for welcoming, and ‘check in’ pilgrims and volunteers at the World Youth Day (WYD), during which it will also hold a series of parallel activities.

“We will be responsible for the reception and the ‘check in’ of the pilgrims and volunteers in Lisbon, but we also have programmed a series of activities that we proposed to organize in parallel,” Raquel Kritinas, coordinator for WYD CNE, told Lusa news agency.

The responsible highlighted the fact that CNE, which this year celebrates its centennial, is “committed to the pastoral issue” and wants to show that the institution “is not only a service movement, but also has a pastoral and evangelization component.

The involvement of the scouts in WYD, which will take place in Lisbon between August 1 and 6, is done at various levels, according to the coordinator, noting that the CNE is involved, through local groups, “in the preparation of the days in the dioceses, and in welcoming the scouts in the parishes,” as part of the Diocesan Organizing Committee (COD) and the Parish Organizing Committee (COP).

Raquel Kritinas mentioned that the CNE “currently has about 200 volunteers for the central events, a number that will increase until the event,” but she recalled that there are many involved in WYD-related volunteering in parishes and vicariates.

“The truth is that we will always be much more than the volunteers who will be in the central services, because there are also Scouts involved in other areas, such as health, and also in the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) teams, to which they have been invited individually,” he said.

During WYD, the CNE has planned several events, including a Eucharist for Scouts, open to all Scouts, whether or not they are participating in the central events, which Raquel Kritinas foresees as “a moment of communion and celebration, which will also mark the centenary of the movement in Portugal.

The CNE is also preparing a camp dedicated to the foreign scouts that will be coming to Lisbon, which will be set up at the Caparica Scout National Park (PNEC), owned by the Scouts of Portugal Association (AEP), a movement open to all faiths and beliefs.

According to Raquel Kritinas, “CNE also has a city game planned in which it intends to showcase the city of Lisbon and an interactive exhibition, and it is also in charge of a chapel, where Our Lady will be, which intends to be a place for the promise of peace.

“Even before WYD, between July 27 and 31, we will have a pilgrimage that will bring the image of the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima to Lisbon. The route is still being studied, but it will come by sea from Vila Franca de Xira,” he explained.

The CNE, which, like AEP, is part of the Scout Federation of Portugal, has 70,000 associates nationwide, including about 22,000 over the age of 18 (about 14,000 adult leaders and 8,000 walkers).

In Lisbon, the main WYD ceremonies, which were born from Pope John Paul II’s initiative, will take place in Parque Tejo, north of Parque das Nações, on the riverside bank of the Tagus, on land owned by the municipalities of Lisbon and Loures.

The first edition was held in 1986, in Rome, and has since been held in Buenos Aires (1987), Santiago de Compostela (1989), Czestochowa (1991), Denver (1993), Manila (1995), Paris (1997), Rome (2000), Toronto (2002), Cologne (2005), Sydney (2008), Madrid (2011), Rio de Janeiro (2013), Krakow (2016), and Panama (2019).

This year’s edition, which will be closed by the Pope, was originally scheduled for 2022, but was postponed due to the covid-19 pandemic.

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