Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
October 1, 2001
World Youth Day costs soar to at least $100M
Two national collections set to help pay the bill
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
CORNWALL, ONT. — The cost of hosting World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto next July is expected to be in excess of $100 million, well above the $21 million estimated by an ad hoc committee of the Canadian bishops three years ago.
"We don't have the hard numbers yet, but we're past $100 million for sure," said Paul Kilbertus, communication director for the WYD committee, at a news conference Sept. 24.
"We know that a lot of that money is going to come from registrations, national collections, the bishops and corporate sponsorships as well as government contributions," he said.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops hasn't budgeted for any possible shortfall but has agreed to take responsibility for any "extraordinary expense" that could be left over, said Bishop Gerald Wiesner, outgoing president of the episcopal conference.
World Youth Day in Paris in 1997 cost $66 million but took in $71 million in revenue. However, WYD in Denver in 1993 ended up $3 million in the red on expenditures of $14 million but it didn't charge a registration fee.
Organizers of the event in Canada were optimistic that it will at least break even.
"We are working very hard in garnering sponsorships and financial support," Father Thomas Rosica, national executive director of WYD 2002, said in a presentation to the Canadian bishops during their annual assembly Sept. 20-25.
Bishop Anthony Meagher, chair of the conference's WYD committee, noted that there will be two national WYD collections, one in the fall and one next spring.
"There will be people who won't give a cent to the Church for many things but they will give for youth," he said.
Meagher, auxiliary bishop of Toronto, said a chief operations officer with "some top flight management business experience" is now in place.
He also said there has been a "tremendous outpouring of grace," surrounding the World Youth Day cross, which has been travelling to dioceses across Canada since Holy Week. "We're really being blessed by what is happening."
The cross is a sign of hope, "the place where the promise of Christmas was kept," said Meagher. "Young people relate to the cross as that kind of hope and commitment to us."
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