Five days until the WYD: greetings from those on their way and those celebrating in the dioceses
Some members of the IYAB - International Youth Advisory Board – bid their farewells and ask that everyone prayerfully accompany the youth of the world gathered in Lisbon
The WYD in Lisbon is now just around the corner! With just five days to go before the start of the Catholic Church's largest gathering of young people in Lisbon from August 1-6, there are three stories that the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life has gathered from some of its 20 members of the IYAB - the youth advisory body that has been working with the Dicastery and other offices of the Holy See since 2019. Natalia, from Puerto Rico, Maddie from Australia and Dominique from South Africa briefly describe their experience of preparation and pilgrimage to Lisbon. It is impossible not to have a Portuguese presence and, so, Rodrigo, a member of the IYAB in Lisbon, bids farewell and invites everyone to Lisbon.
From Puerto Rico: solidarity after the hurricane and gratitude to community elders
"The most impactful experience throughout our preparation," Natalia says in the first of three videos, " was meeting the people affected by the tremendous hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico a few years ago. "So our pilgrims stayed for a weekend with the community. They shared with the people, did acts of charity and showed people the face of the living Christ. The most wonderful part is that at the end of the experience, people said that the WYD pilgrims had given them hope again”. Natalia is heading out with 90 young people from the Puerto Rican youth ministry, and she is keen to mention that “we would not be on our way to this experience if it were not for all those elderly people in our communities, our grandfathers, our grandmothers, who helped us raise funds by preparing food, selling items, giving us their 100 percent, praying for us, so that we could have this experience. So I think we should dedicate our prayer in this WYD to the elderly, our grandfathers and grandmothers”.
Greetings of love, blessings and prayers from Adelaide, Australia
"My name is Maddy and I am from the Archdiocese of Adelaide, Australia" This is how Australian IYAB member Maddy, who lives in Tardanya, introduces herself in the Aboriginal language of the Kaurna people. "We are sending love, blessings and prayers to all who travel for the World Youth Day and we will locally celebrate with the youth of our Archdiocese. And we look forward to coming together in solidarity with the global Church."
So that South African pilgrims experience an encounter with God and - through their encounter - with other young people
Dominque sends her greetings in Afrikaans: “Ek is Dominique van Kaapstad, SuidAfrika” (transl: I am Dominique from Cape Town, South Africa) as well as greetings in other languages of the beautiful South Africa: Goeie Middag, Molweni, Sanbonani! Dominique, our third guest, who is also a member of IYAB, tells us that the WYD in Lisbon "is a very important event, because the group from my archdiocese decided to participate and only at the end did I realize that I would be leading the group from my archdiocese to participate in the World Youth Day in Lisbon!" “We will visit Evora for the Days in the Dioceses and participate in the entire WYD week...I can’t wait for my group of pilgrims to experience the fruits of what the WYD has to offer and encounter God's presence through meeting with other pilgrims from around the world, sharing and participating in the exciting activities, especially those centered upon the Eucharist”. Dominque hopes and prays that "my group and all the participants will be able to take some of these very moving experiences back to their communities so that all young people can share in the joy of WYD.
Appointment in Lisbon: Cedo cedo, logo logo, nos vemos pro cà!
"It is with great joy that the whole city of Lisbon, the Church of Lisbon is preparing for this World Youth Day, in order to better prepare this week to welcome the pilgrims who are coming," says Rodrigo, an IYAB member who lives in Lisbon. “Cedo cedo, logo logo, nos vemos pro cà e até já! – See you soon!”
The videos are available on the Dicastery's Instagram profile.