5th anniversary of WYD Panama 2019. The fruits of that encounter with the living Jesus

Chagas: continuation of the Youth Synod, WYD in Central America was a great experience of listening



On 27 January 2019, some 700,000 young people from around the world gathered at Campo San Juan Pablo II in Panama City for the Mass that concluded an intense and profound week of celebrations for the 34th World Youth Day.

Rereading Christus Vivit to concretely live the spirit of WYD in daily life

"WYD Panama," commented Fr. João Chagas, head of the youth area of the Dicastery, "was the continuation of the synodal experience that young people had in 2018, when Pope Francis invited them to be heard and valued as protagonists of the Church. "Today," Chagas continued, "five years on from then, we invite our young people to reread the post-synodal exhortation Christus Vivit, to implement that Synod and live the spirit of WYD in the everyday of their lives, as they are.

 "You young people are the now of God!"

"You young people are the now of God! He invites you and calls you in your communities and cities to go out and find your grandparents, your elders; to stand up and with them to speak out and realize the dream that the Lord has dreamed for you". Thus, the Holy Father encouraged the young people present, inviting them to live the concreteness of His love and to respond with a "yes" to the Lord's generous plans.

Most of the young people who listened live to these words of the Holy Father came from the countries of Central America, where the meeting still bears much fruit and blessings.

Ulloa: the commitment of Panamanian youth in the Church and society continues to grow

"This experience of ecclesial communion has united us even more with the Magisterium of Pope Francis, which has also allowed us to organize the first Marian WYD, which for the Church of Panama has enormous significance, because it is precisely through the Virgin Mary, with the title of Santa Maria l'Antigua, that the faith has come to us and made us the first diocese on the American continent," says Mgr José Ulloa Mendieta, Archbishop of Panama, who led the organisation of WYD 2019."We can say that the fruits of WYD in Panama are coming progressively. Panamanian young people are currently protagonists of important moments in the country, where ecological awareness and social commitment are increasingly visible, in the struggles to defend Creation. It is up to us to continue accompanying young people in these processes, training them, guiding them and leaving them free to decide, so that they can live the values of the Gospel in the environments they belong to, without fear of being authentic, generating new ways to achieve the ecclesial and social transformation we need in the Church and society."

A Mass and a photo exhibition in Panama to celebrate the anniversary

To mark the anniversary, Mgr Ulloa will celebrate a Mass this afternoon in the very central parish of San Francisco de la Caleta at the end of which a photo exhibition will be inaugurated in the presence of the directors and undersecretaries of the COL (local organising committee) of WYD 2019.


The 34th World Youth Day on the theme "“I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word”" (Lk 1:38) was celebrated in Panama from 22 to 27 January 2019, with some 700,000 participants from 140 countries attending the Final Mass presided over by the Holy Father Francis. Nearly 46 million people followed WYD through social networks. In the week leading up to the meeting in the capital, young pilgrims from all over the world were hosted not only by Panamanian dioceses but also by Costa Rican dioceses.


26 January 2024