Aloísio Gonzaga, a Bayingyi from Myanmar, relates his powerful experience at the World Youth Day, from being able to share his community’s struggle in Myanmar to being uplifted by Pope Francis’ words of encouragement.
The presence of the Pontifical Mission Societies at the World Youth Day marks the importance given to evangelization and missionary work by the Catholic Church. The history of the various societies integrated under the title is interesting and provides an understanding of how God guides his people in carrying out His works.
Fatima was the first stopover for the young Portuguese-speaking Catholics who will represent the Diocese of Macau at the World Youth Day. Early last week, three local juvenile pilgrims prayed the Holy Rosary before a crowd in the Chapel of the Apparitions, the heart of the Fatima Shrine.
The Comboni Missionary Center of Maia, on the outskirts of Porto, was until Sunday the temporary home of almost 40 Chinese-language young Catholics from Macau who are going to take part in the 37th edition of the World Youth Day. In Northern Portugal, Macau’s entourage joined the Comboni Youth Day Meeting, thanks to the help of an old acquaintance.
The Russian Youth Meeting, an extension of the World Youth Day, will see 18 youth from Russia arriving at Lisbon at its commencement. A highlight of this meeting is a long-distance dialogue with Pope Francis, which will be broadcast.
Forty Catholics and catechumens aged 18-35 years old will represent Macau at the 37th edition of the World Youth Day. The Diocesan Delegation will travel to Portugal in late July and remain in the country for two weeks. The pilgrimage will include time in Fatima and an opportunity to be with thousands of other young Catholics and Pope Francis. The Diocesan Youth Commission will offer several leadership and formation workshops over the next few months to help the participants prepare for this life-changing experience.
The Catholic Diocese of Macau is preparing to send at least 50 youngsters to Portugal to take part in the 2023 edition of the World Youth Day. The easing of the pandemic-related restrictions decreed by the local authorities, earlier this month, eliminates the requirement of a mandatory quarantine in a designated hotel – one of the aspects that worried the Diocesan curia the most.
Diocesan Youth Commission Deputy Director Tammy Chio is currently in Portugal to attend a preparatory meeting convened by the organizing committee of next year’s World Youth Day. Macau’s participation in the event, which takes place in Lisbon from 1st to 6th August 2023, seems to be well underway. A final decision, nonetheless, should be announced next summer. The last word remains with the Macau government and the anti-Covid policies still in place.