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Bishop wishes WYD delegates meaningful pilgrimage

By CBCP News

A Catholic bishop wished all Filipino pilgrims to World Youth Day in Portugal a “meaningful” pilgrimage and safe journey. Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon of Daet, head of the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY), said the gathering will be an opportunity to renew hope.

“It’s an opportunity to encounter the Lord through other people, to share our faith and our culture, as well as to be enriched by the giftedness of others,” Alarcon said.

“WYD also aims to bring the message of hope to many young people in a wounded world… where young people are losing hope,” he said.

Hundreds of young Filipinos including some bishops are attending the WYD in Lisbon from August 1 to 6 with the theme “Mary arose and went with haste” (Luke 1:39).

Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tirona embraces the youngest participant, a 5 year old altar server from San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish In Abella, during the opening mass of the 2023 Archdiocesan Camping for Altar Servers in Tinambac, Camarines Sur on 18 July 2023. The camping was held on July 18-20. The theme of the gathering was “The Need of Liturgical Formation for the Ministry of Altar Servers.” (Photo by James Rod Badiola)

Initiated by St. Pope John Paul II in 1985, the week-long gathering usually attracts hundreds of thousands of young people from across the globe.

Held every three years, the last WYD was held in Panama in 2019. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the Vatican moved the 2022 Lisbon edition to the following year.

As of June 30, organizers said more than 600,000 people have already registered for the event to meet and pray with Pope Francis.

Thousands of families have also volunteered to open their homes to pilgrims.

For those who will not be able to attend the WYD in Lisbon, Alarcon asked them “to be united spiritually” with the pilgrims and follow the events online.

“Pray for this event, pray for our pilgrims,” he said.

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