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ARRIVAL OF 25,000 WORLD YOUTH DAY VOLUNTEERS

VATICAN CITY, AUG 8, 2000 (VIS) - The first of a total of 25,000 World Youth Day volunteers have begun to arrive in Rome. On Saturday August 12, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope's vicar general for the diocese of Rome, will celebrate Mass for the volunteers in St. Peter's Square.

Last Sunday before praying the angelus, the Pope indicated that many young people were already on their way to Rome: "Families, parishes, institutes and schools of the eternal city have mobilized to welcome them, and I too" he announced, "will have the joy of accommodating some of them at Castelgandolfo." Indeed, Villa Barberini, which lies near the apostolic palace of Castelgandolfo, will house 15 young persons; three each from America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania.

The volunteers come from 40 countries on all continents, though the majority are Italians. Their task is to provide logistical support and to welcome all the young people who will participate in World Youth Day. They will allocate lodgings and refreshment points, direct coaches to the various welcome sites and coordinate transport. A number of volunteers will provide assistance to the authorities, to ecclesial personages, to participants in the international youth forum (August 12-15), to journalists and to the
disabled.

Volunteers will also be involved in other activities, described as "events" in a communique from the Italian Committee for World Youth Day. These include all support services (verification and control of access points, distribution of material, orientation of the flow of pilgrims) at the main events of World Youth Day, such as the opening ceremony of August 15, the Jubilee pilgrimage, the 'Via Crucis' and the closing celebrations at Rome's Tor Vergata University. 




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