ECY notes decline in WYD 2013 pilgrim numbers

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MANILA, Jan. 16, 2013―There would be lesser Filipinos who will participate in the upcoming World Youth Day (WYD) in Brazil than those who attended the event in Spain last 2011.

This was after only 15 groups or 400 individual pilgrims expressed intention to join the WYD under the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth’s delegation, ECY-Philippines.

Being the official country delegation, ECY-Philippines is considered to be the biggest Filipino contingent based on pilgrim numbers during the past WYDs.

This year’s pilgrim statistics pales in comparison with the ECY-Philippines’ delegation to the WYD Madrid which consists of at least 40 subgroups, with more than 1,000 initial applicants that were trimmed down to 400 actual pilgrims.

According to ECY executive secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta, the decrease in the pilgrim number could be attributed to different factors, with the financial consideration on top of the list.

In an interview with YouthPinoy, Garganta said that while the Manila-Madrid-Manila trip of the WYD delegates cost at least $1,500, the Manila-Rio de Janeiro-Manila trip roughly costs $3,000. He added that the fare could be reduced only up to $2,500 for a missionary rate.

“There are many practical considerations. And we know for a fact that nobody can travel for free or without cost,” he said.

The ECY-Philippines delegation head added that the number of pilgrim-applicants can still increase or decrease with the upcoming deadline of submission of the required credentials to be part of the delegation on January 31.

Garganta said young Filipinos interested to participate in the WYD still have time to contact their parochial or diocesan youth coordinators and the ECY on how to join.

“For those of you who feel the urge to join the WYD, the ECY is still offering subgroup orientation for WYD 2013,” he added.

The 27th WYD is slated on July 17 to 28 in Brazil with the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro as the host diocese.

Details on the venue and schedule of the different events of the WYD and the pilgrims’ transportation, accommodation, security and meals are on the “process of polishing,” according to Garganta who attended the second international preparatory meeting with the WYD organizers last November 26 to 29 in the host city. (YouthPinoy)

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