Towards Lisbon 2023: "Building bridges between us"

Card. Farrell to the youth ministry delegates from around the world gathered in Fátima/Lisbon to prepare for WYD 2023

About 300 delegates from more than 100 countries, who belong to Episcopal Conferences, Movements, and Associations, gathered for the first time face-to-face since WYD Panama, due to the pandemic-related lockdown.

To engage in dialogue, beyond cultural boundaries, and build a synodal Church and encounter Christ anew. Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of our Dicastery, opened with this invitation today in Fátima at the International Preparatory Meeting for the World Youth Day that will be held in Lisbon in August 2023.

Farrell hopes "that this face-to-face encounter be a sign of building bridges between nations and cultures. This is what World Youth Days has represented since the very beginning."

During the opening session, Farrell urged participants to feel as if they are co-organizers of the upcoming World Youth Day in the sense of a synodal Church and not just utilizing an opportunity. Similarly, even the next WYD in the particular Churches - which Pope Francis wanted to be celebrated on the Feast of Christ the King - could be held together with the youth. For this purpose, the Dicastery has published the "Pastoral Guidelines", which specifically offer orientations for celebrating in the particular Churches.

In conclusion, the Cardinal wished the delegates "that the next World Youth Day be an open space, where young people can meet Christ and find in Him their vocation in life. May this WYD be for many of us and for society a new beginning".


The International Preparatory Meeting for the World Youth Day, which takes place October 17-19 in Fátima, Portugal, is organized by the Local Organizing Committee of the XXXVII WYD in Lisbon in collaboration with the Youth Office of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.

The meeting aims at raising awareness about the organization of the WYD Lisbon 2023, sharing the culture and identity of the country and city that will host the next world youth meeting with the Pope.

The International Gathering will be held in two editions: the first after each WYD, in Rome, as the closing of the meeting and the launching of the next one; and the second, about a year before each WYD, in the country where the event will take place. The next World Youth Day will be held in Lisbon from August 1-6, 2023. From July 24-31, 2023, young people are invited to "Days in the Dioceses" throughout the (arch)dioceses of Portugal.

This year's WYD will be celebrated in the particular Churches on the Feast of Christ the King, the weekend of Nov. 20, 2022.

17 October 2022