.- The Vatican has confirmed over 267 venues will offer lessons on the faith during Pope Francis’ World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil later this month.
The catecheses – teaching sessions on the faith – will be given by bishops and cardinals for three days during between July 24 and 26, with 133 of them in Portuguese, 50 in Spanish and 25 in English.
Italian and French are the next largest language groups with 15 sessions each, while Germans will have the chance to hear the faith eight times and Poles will being able to find it in their native tongue in five places.
In addition, the faith will be explained in Arabic, Russian, Croatian, Greek, Czech, Slovenian and Danish.
The three days will each have themes, which are: “Thirsting for hope, thirsting for God” on July 24, “To be Christ’s disciples” on July 25 and “To be missionaries: go forth!” on July 26.
They will be given in a total of 20 different languages and will include an in-depth examination of the Pope’s World Youth Day overall theme: “Go and make disciples of all nations” from Matthew 28.
One of the two biggest catechesis venues, the Cathedral of Sao Sebastiao in downtown Rio, will host up to 5,000 pilgrims for a Portuguese session.
The other large-scale meeting will take place at the Riocentro Exhibition and Convention Center in the Jacarepaguá area, which can also hold 5,000 participants.
One of the main venues for English-speakers will be the Vivo Rio Pilgrim Center, where artists such as Steve Angrisano, Jesse Manibusan, the Jacob and Matthew Band, and Danielle Rose will be perform on stage throughout the week.
The educational sessions will begin at 9:00 a.m. with praise conducted by a group of volunteers selected by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Laity.
A different bishop or cardinal will speak each day for around 30 minutes, followed by a question-answer session with pilgrims.
Many of the catechists will refer to the document of the fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Aparecida, Brazil in 2007.
Its theme was “Disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ, so that our people may have life in him.” Pope Francis played a key role in drafting the final document that was issued after the Aparecida gathering.
The Vatican is encouraging bishops and cardinals to also offer their own personal testimony and speak about positive role models – saints, blesseds or exemplary youths.
Each day will close with Mass presided over by the catechist, alongside any priests who are present. During the morning portion of the gathering priests will also be available for confession.