40 Young Catholics to Represent Macau at World Youth Day: Preparation Includes Leadership Workshops, Spiritual Retreat

Marco Carvalho

The Catholic Diocese of Macau will send a group of 40 Chinese-speaking youngsters to the World Youth Day, the Diocesan Youth Commission revealed on social media. The organization took on the responsibility to coordinate the participation of East Asia’s oldest Diocese in the largest regular gathering of young people celebrated by the Catholic Church.

In early January, the Diocesan Youth Commission launched a recruitment campaign aimed at Catholics or catechumens aged 18-35 years old, for the purpose of selecting the 40-strong group of youngsters that will join the local Diocesan delegation to the 37th edition of the World Youth Day. Aside from this group, a second contingent comprising Portuguese-speaking young Catholics will also fly Macau’s flag in Lisbon, says Father Daniel Ribeiro, parish vicar at the Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady.

The two-week trip to Portugal will cost each of the participants 25,000 patacas. The amount, the Diocesan Youth Commission discloses, covers the cost of airfare, registration to the World Youth Day, accommodation and food.

The Catholic Diocese of Macau proposes a 16-day itinerary in Portugal. The participation in the 2023 edition of the World Youth Day will centre around six days in Lisbon, starting from August 1 to August 6, but the local Diocesan delegation will also travel to Fatima and, possibly, to other Portuguese pilgrimage centres.

To help prepare the participants to embark on this life-changing trip to World Youth Day, the Diocesan Youth Commission will offer, over the next few months, several leadership and formation workshops. The organization is looking for young people to commit to a series of monthly workshops on different leadership and faith topics, so that they can take on a supporting role leading up to and during the pilgrimage. The first workshop will take place on March 19,and the initiative will be repeated on a monthly basis until June.

“Our greatest concern is, in fact, the spiritual formation of those that will be part of our group, so that we can be prepared to fully embrace World Youth Day,” Diocesan Youth Commission Deputy Director Tammy Chio recently told O Clarim. “The success of our participation depends, to a great extent, on the spiritual formation of these young people. We want them to advance their own ideas, but we do need to reach sort of a compromise. Some of them might eventually think that this is a good opportunity to travel, but we are not going to Lisbon exactly to enjoy a vacation,” Chio Chu Cheng adds.

In addition to the monthly workshops, the Diocesan Youth Commission will also organize a spiritual retreat in March. The farewell ceremony for the Diocesan Delegation, that will represent Macau at the World Youth Day, will take place on July 16.

(Image: fauxels@pexels.com)