One of the hot topics in catholic circles at the moment is the upcoming World Youth Day in Lisbon on the 1st-6th of August 2023. Ever since its announcement on the 3rd of October 2021 there has been a quiet buzz growing in young catholic circles. The levels of enthusiasm for this upcoming World Youth Day are so great that the group, that is being sent from our diocese, is currently over prescribed. This may seem like a sad eventuality, but this level of youth enthusiasm is a good problem to have. This speaks volumes to the great impact that it has on those who attend and that it elicits a desire for those who have experienced a World Youth Day to return to this Catholic youth pilgrimage.
For those who have experienced a World Youth Day, it is always an event that has a profound impact on a young person’s life. World Youth Day is an entire week of activities that leads up to a final day were many hundreds of thousands if not millions of young people gather for an open-air Mass with the Pope. The experience of a World Youth Day shows our young people just how universal the Catholic Church is, and it is a great chance to meet priests and religious who they may have only a seen on YouTube or heard through a podcast. It is an occasion where the youth of the world are able to come and pray and celebrate together.
In Auckland we are having a build up event for World Youth Day here in Auckland on the 20th of November 2022. The celebration will take place from 4pm-9pm at Holy Cross Parish, 21 Carruth Road, Papatoetoe. Bishop Steven will be celebrating the Mass at 5pm, with worship Music and Adoration to follow. This event would be a great thing for the young people in your life to attend and if you are fortunate enough to be attending the World Youth Day in Lisbon this will be a good thing to include in your spiritual preparation for the event.
To experience a World Youth Day is to experience the true vitality of the Catholic Church. There may be some of us who are unable to attend for various reasons, but we can also help and be a part of it in a hidden way. We can pray for those who are going or discerning their possible attendance. We can also be an active part of the build up towards World Youth Day, by encouraging the youth to attend these events. For those who may not be able to attend the event in Lisbon you might even suggest that, when the next World Youth Day is announced this time next year, it might be something for the young Catholics in your life to work towards attending.
Fr Tony King-Archer