BREAKING NEWS!! (We saw this first from our buddy Jack)
The Pope will celebrate Mass for the WYD Closing mass of Rio2013 in Guaratiba. In the West Zone, Guaratiba was chosen to receive the Vigil Mass and the Closing mass for World Youth Day Rio2013, on 27th and 28th July. The announcement has just been made by the city’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, and Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Dom Orani João Tempesta, during the Second Preparatory Meeting for WYD Rio2013, which is being held this week in the state capital.
The organisation of the Journey work with the structure of lots and streets, which will feature islands of service to support the pilgrims. These venues will have restrooms, medical tents, food, tents of worship, tower safety, screens and drinkers. Also according to the organisation team, they are planning for access to the field studying two possibilities: the arrival on foot from landing points, three options of routes, about 13 kilometers each, and exit through a system shuttle, which is a special shuttle service.
I’m confused. This seems to be the third announced site. The first seemed to be the Santa Cruz Military Airport reportedly 40 miles from Rio. Then, I had heard Copacabana (I am fully ready to admit that my perceptions might be off on this one.) And now it seems Guaratiba. Radio Vaticana’s report indicates that “Organizers said the area will have pilgrim service islands that will include restrooms, medical and food tents, tents for worshiping, water fountains and big-screen TVs. Special shuttle transportation to and from Guaratiba is also being discussed”
What is most distressing is that the site is described by Radio Vaticana as some 96 kms from the city centre. For us non metric types… that is 60 miles. (The Google map above, click to enlarge, reads the distance as 52km or 33 miles and an hour’s drive- who know how long a walk!) If anyone has clarifying insight, please have at it in the comments section!
By the way, Guaratiba is an indigenous word that means "location with great quantity of herons." To this da, y the area, which has some of Rio’s most beautiful beaches, is filled with white herons. Hopefully, WYD pilgrims have stronger legs than these beautiful birds. Boa sorte, WYD pilgrims.