The Archbishop of Panama inaugurates the 34th World Youth Day with Mass in Panama City and confirms that change in the Church and in humanity is in the hands of youth.
The words of the Archbishop of Panama were music to the ears of the young people gathered for the Mass inaugurating the 34th World Youth Day: “We believe in you. We hope in you”, he said. “The change and transformation that humanity and the Church requires are in your hands”.
It fell to Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, as Metropolitan Archbishop of Panama, to celebrate the Mass that marked the official opening of WYD celebrations. His homily was a summary of his own, and of the young peoples’, expectations for this event which takes place, at the international level, every three years.
Openness to hearing God
One of the key passages of the Archbishop’s homily was a confession: “Sometimes we adults think that young people don’t want to listen”, he said. “You need direction and accompaniment from us”, he continued, “but, above all, for us to listen to you”. Archbishop Mendieta continued by admitting that young people are “not easily impressed”.
“Young people search for witnesses”, he said, “references filled with content and experience”. Rather than listening to someone talking about God, “you search for someone to show you God with their life”, he said.
Saints to transform realitys
The Archbishop of Panama quoted Pope Francis who frequently invites young people to “go against the flow” as they try to live holy and transformed lives. The Pope often says that “holiness has its risks, challenges and opportunities”. But “we can all be saints”, said the Archbishop.
He then went on to give a definition of sanctity: “A saint defends migrants, seeks justice, prays, lives, and love their community, is joyful and has a sense of humour, always struggles, gets out of mediocrity, lives the mercy of God, and shares with their neighbour”.
Schedule of the apostolic journey of Pope Francis to Panama
Pope Francis departed Wednesday for Panama where he will participate in the events of the 34th World Youth Day. This marks the Pope's first journey in 2019. Pope Francis is in Panama, Jan. 23-27.
His journey will get underway in earnest on Thursday with an official welcome at the Presidential Palace and a meeting with authorities and diplomats. Later in the day, Pope Francis will meet with Bishops from Central America. The highlight of Thursday, however, will be the opening of the World Youth Day ceremony at the Coastal Belt at 17.30 local time.
In a tweet before his departure the Pope said, "I am leaving for the World Youth Day in Panama. I ask you to pray for this very beautiful and important event on the path of the Church."
The theme for World Youth Day 2019 is taken from the Gospel of St. Luke: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
He will celebrate the Holy mass for World Youth Day at Campo San Pablo II – Metro Park, Sunday, January 27, at 8:00 am.
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For a week now, several pilgrims from the dioceses of Quebec have been heading to Panama with Mission Jeunesse. ArchBishop Lépine also flew to Panama last week to live the WYD.