“This is an opportunity for young people to celebrate their faith, meet other youth from around the world and to have a special encounter with Pope Francis,” said Isabel Correa, National Coordinator of the Canadian delegation to the World Youth Day 2023. “Over time, we have heard and seen the powerful experience that World Youth Day has been in the lives of so many Canadian youth and we expect that this year’s pilgrimage will be no different. It is a transformative and inspiring moment that they will cherish for years to come.”
Michelle Pacheco, a 26-year-old Canadian delegate from Toronto, currently works as a missionary with the Archdiocese of Toronto’s Youth Office and says that she has devoted all her preparation time to prayer. “Above all else, I have been asking people to pray for me and have also asked them how I can pray for them during my pilgrimage to World Youth Day,” she said.
“Since this is my first World Youth Day, it is difficult to say exactly what I will be able to take away from it,” said Justin Nguyen, a 28-year-old Canadian from Vancouver. “But what I do know is that it is a journey of faith – it is my first time attending WYD, my first time in Portugal and in Spain. I just hope and pray that it will be a time that allows me to focus on my relationship with God, then return home, and continue the mission that God has entrusted to me in service to my local community.”
World Youth Day is an opportunity to hear talks from leading Catholic speakers, and notably, including Bishops from every continent. In addition to catechetical sessions, there are opportunities for prayer and divine worship. A special element of World Youth Day also includes a cultural festival with music, dance, and creative expression, drawing on talented young people from around the world.
Pope Francis will spend five days in Portugal, most of them in Lisbon, where he will meet university students, enjoy lunch with young people, pray with them and preside at Mass, while also making a stop in Fatima, one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the world.
Source: Text: https://www.cccb.ca/media-release/5000-canadian-youth-join-pope-francis-in-portugal-for-world-youth-day/
Image: Archeparchy of Winnipeg