It's still 12 months out but 500 students from Sydney's Catholic schools are already gearing up for what has become one of the biggest youth events in the world.
The years 9 and 10 students who plan to travel ashore to Rio de Janeiro for WYD 2013 came together recently at St Patrick's College, Strathfield to prepare for the great awakening that awaits them next year from 23 - 28 July.
In the first stage of preparations, the students learnt about pilgrimage and Latin American culture, heard from a number of guest speakers including Catholic missionary Sam Clear.
Clear captivated the students as he spoke of his own epic journey walking 15,500 km across 20 countries over 568 days.
He risked life and limb to make his own pilgrimage from the eastern most point of Brazil, through South America, Central America and North America, across Siberia on the Trans-Siberian Railway, and on foot again from Moscow to the west of Spain, all for the sake of Christian unity.
He was threatened at gun point three times, mugged at knife point by four men and beaten up on the side of the road with scars to prove it. He endured extreme temperatures from -33C to 47C, yet through it all was God's love in action under the most incredible circumstances he said.
He encouraged the students to believe and achieve in whatever they set out to do, knowing that God is always with us on our journey.
Brazil, 'um ano e contagem' ('one year and counting')! (CEO Sydney)