18 June 2021
Diocesan WYD - between historical memory and new momentum
Very positive feedback about the Pastoral Guidelines
A month after the publication of the Pastoral Guidelines for the Celebration of World Youth Day in the Particular Churches, very positive feedback coming from the dioceses around the world underlines two important aspects that, seen together, make World Youth Day a powerful moment in the life of local Churches. On the one hand, this celebration brings together various insights and practices that have been present for years in youth ministry and in the accompaniment of young people on their faith journey. That is why a number of youth ministry leaders appreciated the fact that the Guidelines refer both to the roots of WYD and underline the key points of this day that have been discovered and developed in its more than thirty-five year history.
"This document encourages us to continue the national and diocesan WYDs that we have already been carrying out for some years, along with the preparation for the international WYDs" - says the person in charge of youth ministry in Madagascar, Fr Jean-Luc Ratovonjanahary.
"The guidelines confirm many of our intuitions and pastoral practices," adds Isabel Correa, the Canadian director.
On the other hand, the invitation to continually update this pastoral proposal so that it is in tune with the challenges of the world youth and the current life of the Church has been greeted with great enthusiasm.
"The guidelines are very practical, like a continuation of Christus Vivit, to start or continue putting its message into practice and to keep it alive!" - stresses Jennifer Cauchi from Malta.
"I was really touched by the emphasis on the experience of universal brotherhood and the encouragement to meet non-Catholic young people. It is a great opportunity to revitalise ecumenical and interreligious relations" - says Fr. Jean-Sébastien Laurent of the Chemin Neuf Community.
From the online meeting organised by our Dicastery on 8 June for those responsible for youth ministry in bishops' conferences, movements and associations, through the national meetings already organised in some countries - to a reading in dioceses and parishes - the Guidelines are already bearing their first fruits: concrete inspirations for local youth ministry.
"The document has helped us to redefine the meaning of the celebration of WYD at the diocesan level. Thanks to this document we can motivate priests and educators to accompany young people even more. We have already distributed the Czech translation among priests, catechists, youth organisations" - adds Fr. Kamil Strak, responsible for youth ministry in the Czech Republic.
"We welcome the opportunity that this document opens up for us: to review the organisation of our Youth Days, to identify areas for change and to strengthen the way in which our Youth Days are instruments of evangelisation of young people and of dialogue with them" - add those responsible for youth ministry in the Philippines, Fr. Conegundo Garganta and Maria Victoria Tacderas.
Conegundo Garganta and Maria Victoria Tacderas. "What I would like to highlight from the document is the invitation to walk together in youth ministry. WYD pushes us and encourages us to continue our pastoral service and leads us to the care of vocational discernment. The document reaffirms the protagonism of young people, the contribution that we give to our local Church through WYD and the welcome that we must give to other young people who are outside of the structures" - summarises Joan Berrío, from Panama.
The Pastoral Guidelines for the Celebration of World Youth Day in the Particular Churches, prepared by our Dicastery and approved by the Holy Father Pope Francis, are available here in various languages and formats.