John Allen, following the Popes in flight press conference, suggest that World Youth Day could become World Youth and Elderly Day. It would indeed be a rather Francis type of thing, getting people to move out of their 'self-reverential' comfort zones.
Allen accepts few elderly people are likely to endure the pilgrimage nature of the trip to the location for the event but list three suggestion:
First, young pilgrims could be encouraged to reach out to elderly persons in the locales in which the event takes place -- visiting homes for senior citizens, for instance, or visiting families in which elderly members play a prominent role.My great anxiety is having all those aging hippies involved in the Catechesis: Hans Kung, the Tablet team, ACTA, it is all a bit frightening.
Second, participants might be encouraged to work on oral history projects either on the ground during the event or back home once they've returned, collecting the testimonies of elderly Catholics about how the church and the world have changed during their lifetimes, what's stayed with them despite those changes, and so on. In that way, the testimony of the older generation would be preserved and transmitted.
Third, the catechism sessions during World Youth Days might no longer be entrusted exclusively to bishops. (These sessions are organized by language group during the early period of the week, before the mega-events with the pope, and are designed in part to prepare the youth to understand and assimilate the pope's message.)
I remember a friend jokingly suggesting to a elderly German priest that he was surprised he wasn't going to an early JPII Youth Day, his reply, "I had enough of that kind of thing in Nuremberg in the the 1930s!" The problem with all of these events is how to keep the fresh and not to be self-celebratory or self-reverential or any other manifestation of 'self'', for the Pope, the organizers, the youth or even the city of Rio, in short how to make it 'poor'.
I was quite taken by the story of the Pope being stuck in a traffic jam, one of the reason for the demonstrations in Rio is the difficulty and cost of public transport, it was rather nicely done by the Pope to treat it as something to be amused by and enjoyed.