The pandemic has caused many changes in our lives throughout our World. The World Youth Day has been affected by the devestation that the pandemic has caused. Originally WYD had been scheduled to take place in 2022. Now it has been re-scheduled for August 2023. It will take place in Lisbon and so the Archdiocese of Lisbon has the charge of organizing the meeting of world youth with Pope Francis. The Cardinal Archbishop, Manuel Clemente has established a local organizing committee.
It will plan and organize the WYD for August 2023 Given the scope of the event, all the Dioceses and Religious Congregations in Portugal are cooperating in carrying out this task. Regional and National Governmental Agencies are assisting with the preparations for WYD and have certain responsibilities, like finding and preparing a site where the final gathering of the Youth and Pope Francis will take place. The cooperation of agencies of the Government and the Catholic Church has been extraordinary.
In this first phase, the organizing committee has been concerned with several matters: choosing a Logo, anthem, a prayer, preparation of a packet of materials to be used in Dioceses, the launching of products to commemorate the WYD: tee-shirts, rosary,bracelet. An official Website has been created which can be accessed in 3 languages: Spanish, English, Portuguese. Soon an App will be available to download. Of course WYD news will be present on social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter.
Pope Francis has proposed the theme for WYD 2023: “Mary got up and went in haste”. (Luke 1:39) These words begin the account of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth. It follows the theme “The Annunciation“ which was the theme of the last WYD2019 In Panama City. For this month of May, Pope Francis has proposed a prayer marathon,which each day will feature a different Marian Shrine from around the world. The organizing local committee invites all youth to join this initiative and has prepared a guide with the mysteries of the rosary
What is our involvement as SCJs for the WYD 2023 Lisbon? We are involved 3 different ways:
- 1: We are participating in activities in dioceses where we are present, especially those SCJs Involved in Vocation and Youth Ministry.
- 2: The Local Organizing Committee has asked the SCJs to be responsible for coordinating the “Forgiveness Field” where the Sacrament of Penance can be available to all.
- 3: Those responsible for Youth Ministry are planning to hold an International Meeting of all Dehonian Youth attending the WYD.
Our hope is that when the danger of the pandemic lessens, more concrete steps will be taken in preparing for YWD. In the meantime, you can follow the progress of the preparation on the website: www.lisboa2023.org.