Reinhard Backes, ACN International
Adapted by Amanda Bridget Griffin, ACN Canada
In preparation for the World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s dioceses and new Catholic movements are given a million additional copies of YOUCAT, the new youth catechism published by the universal Catholic Church.
Jacinto Bergmann, Archbishop of Pelotas, chair of the Bible Commission of the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference made the announcement in a letter to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) who has made major funding contributions to the project.
In his letter, Archbishop Bergmann expresses how “the investment will help satisfy a profound “need” in the young generation: to discover the first and last meaning of life through the encounter with Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
Aid to the Church in Need has been involved with the project by giving its support since October 2012 for the printing and distribution of 500,000 copies of YOUCAT throughout Brazil. At that time, José Correa, director of ACN Brazil, stated: “Since many in my homeland are looking forward enthusiastically to the World Youth Day 2013, we have arranged for YOUCAT to be printed in Brazilian Portuguese.” The most cost-intensive factor for the project became the distribution of the books throughout Brazil.
According to Correa, the upcoming World Youth Day scheduled to take place between July 23 to 28, this year in Rio de Janeiro, is an important topic among Brazilian young people, especially across the world-wide web, even for those having little or no affiliation to the Church.
“Young people are simply looking forward to it. They love celebrate together. And YOUCAT goes down well. It helps many to get to know the faith, to understand it better or to deepen it,” said Correa. Statistically, just under 70 percent of the 190 million Brazilians in the country are Catholic. Furthermore, when speaking of its population – Brazil is young – the number of children and young people under the age of 24 is about 42 per cent.
Because the numbers printed of the first special Brazilian edition of YOUCAT was insufficient, additional copies have now been printed to fill the demand.
With the help of this little yellow paperback, hundreds of thousands of young people are preparing themselves throughout Brazil for a unified gathering in the spirit of faith and of youth, and for a much anticipated meeting with Pope Francis.
The printing and distribution of YOUCAT was first funded by ACN for the World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid and thus, there afterward travelling the world over, carrying its message of Faith to young people wherever they may be.