20 December 2018
Panama

A Great Celebration of Faith

In a meeting with journalists, Archbishop Ulloa described the situation a month away from the WYD

Pope Francis will bring to Panama a message of “hope” to the young people of Central America, above all “to those who are victims of violence, those who are forced to emigrate, those who have been drawn into the trap of drug traffic. To young people who are seeking a life opportunity, a future”. Monsignor José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, Archbishop of Panama, said this to journalists during a meeting in Rome a few days ago to present, a month away from the event, the World Youth Day that will take place in this Central American country from 23 to 27 January 2019.

“Young people – observed the Archbishop – need this message.  It is an invitation to be responsible for the Church and protagonists in the change that our Country and our Church is waiting for.”  Quickly going over the most important events on Pope Francis’s itinerary in Panama, the Archbishop highlighted the meeting to take place on Friday, 25 January with the young detainees in the “Centro de Cumplimiento de Monores Las Garzas de Pacora” and his visit, on Sunday 27 January (before leaving for Rome) to the “Casa Hogar del Buen Samaritano” where the Pope will “embrace and encounter the pain and sorrow of young people”. Meanwhile, these are the numbers for Panama: 47 thousand pilgrims already registered, 168 thousand those about to confirm their registration, 258 thousand pre-registered.  And then, 37 thousand volunteers, 1,700 accredited journalists and 400 bishops.

“It will be a great celebration of the faith”, remarked Monsignor Ulloa, who, in answer to the Journalist’s questions, confirmed the centrality of the immigration theme  “because it cannot be more dear to the Church, given the suffering and the pain that so many people are going through”, he added, recalling the caravan of thousands of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala  on their way to the United States.

In conclusion, at least 900 young people from Italy will attend the WYD. Don Michele Falabretti, Head of the National Service for Youth Pastoral Care (Snpg) of the Italian Episcopal Conference, explained to the AgenSIR that the persons responsible in the dioceses are being requested to finalize registrations in order to have a complete picture. From the Snpg  we have some preliminary data on registrations region per region: as of today, it is Friuli, Venezia, Giulia  that holds the record with 200 registrations, followed by Lombardy with 97, Piedmont with 85 and The Marches with 80. Young people from Umbria number 50.