WYD Lisbon 2023

Lifestyles for a new humanity: the 4th Congress on care for creation at the WYD in Lisbon

Opening remarks and greetings to 400 participants
IV International Congress on care of creation_Arrival.jpeg


More than 400 young delegates from youth ministry offices from different parts of the world and members of international associations and movements, who have arrived in Lisbon to attend the WYD, gathered this morning at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Lisbon to participate in the 4th International Congress on Care for Creation. With his welcome speech, Dr. Gleison De Paula Souza, Secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, co-organizer of the event sponsored by the John Paul II Youth Foundation, opened the WYD day dedicated to the reflection of 5 areas of human life: economy - education and family life - natural resources - politics - technology.


Like Mary: do not hesitate, move quickly

De Paula Souza wanted to present three images to the participants: the puzzle, the team, and finally, the icon of Mary. "We are a piece of this beautiful puzzle, the work of God's hands. He has placed beside us all the other creatures with whom we are deeply united and on whom our very existence depends", De Paula Souza said about the puzzle image. The team image served to explain that "the battle for the preservation of creation is not fought or won alone. All of you, form a network. Be a team. Support each other and you will overcome obstacles, even those most unimaginable". Finally, a fundamental icon for believers in Christ, Mary: "This allows me to reconnect with the theme of WYD: ‘Mary arose and went with haste’. This is a call to action so that what will emerge from this congress will be taken into account. But it is above all a call not to delay. For although the ecological awareness of populations has grown, it is not enough to change harmful patterns of consumer behavior, which do not seem to be receding, but rather spreading and developing”.


Youth who do not surrender, rather are bearers of hope for the care of Creation

Together with the Secretary of the Dicastery, the President of the John Paul II Foundation for Youth, the Attorney, Daniele Bruno, also greeted everyone with an invitation: "If you are here, it is because you are well aware that each one of you is not only the future but, also and above all, you are the present: it is in this present that each one of you lives, studies, works, has friends, parents, a boyfriend or a girlfriend... and it is in all these environments of your daily life that you are called to have a lifestyle capable of bearing witness. You bear witness to the fact that you are not surrendering and abandoned to a ‘mystical wishful thinking’ and that you want to live, yes, in the world, but taking care of the gift of our Lord entrusted to all of us, Creation. And it is in all these areas that you convey the hope that this is possible”.

The meeting proceeded with talks by the Prefect of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, Card. Michael Czerny, on the theological significance of integral ecology, at the service of the person, especially the weakest, and by Pablo Martinez de Anguita, of the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid, Spain, on the central theme of the risk that a young person can run, namely that of losing the joy of living. The Patriarch of Lisbon, Card. Manuel José Macário do Nascimento Clemente, greeted all those present, happy that this conference opened the events of the WYD that will begin tomorrow, August 1. 

31 July 2023