In the run-up to World Youth Day 2023 (WYD 2023), we were organizing and encouraging the young people in each country and their different local communities, accompanied by the sisters and lay people, to think of ways to living “close up in the distance”. the major event of World Youth Day Lisbon 2023.
To this motion, which was given to us by the II International Youth Meeting, we gave shape according to our circumstances of times, places and people. We created a Google form to know and disseminate proposals, encouraging young people to live WYD from every place. The surprise has been great because it was possible in some places, almost simultaneously, to be living this event, and even, in some cases, having the opportunity to live part of the central activities of WYD together with the diocese of the place where we are.
These are the experiences by country that took place during the weekend of Sunday, August 5 and 6.
In Colombia, it has been lived from the animation through social networks and, among the young people who are linked to the Congregation, from the communities of faith and alumni of the College, additional sharing the experiences of the young people who had the opportunity to be in Lisbon on the day. To this end, a video was prepared to share and spread encouragement to follow the event.
They plan to organize a post-WYD meeting in the near future to share experiences and plan the path of pastoral work with young people in that country.
At Boliviahave come together in the sisters’ houses of each place, he invited the young people and, once they were all gathered in each house, they spent some time connecting with each other. also by Zoom and, in this way, feel like a single family of FI Youth united in the Spirit of Jesus in a special moment of the universal young Church.
In Argentina, we have lived the experience in three of our presences and through the WhatsApp group connected as a country. This group is active and is the fruit of the I International Youth Encounter we held in 2021. Through this medium we have disseminated ideas and proposals for living WYD at the local level and we even encouraged the FI Youth of Argentina to invite them to a meeting in our house in Cordoba.
Since our presence in Villa Ocampo (Santa Fe), La Plata (Buenos Aires) and Cordoba we have had meetings with young people, together with local experiences with the parish and the diocese.
In La Plata they organized themselves to experience WYD with a time of encounter and adoration with the Diocesan Youth Ministry on the evening of Saturday the 5th.
In Villa Ocampo, together with the parish, they shared the night vigil until the final mass with the Pope.
In Cordoba, from the Archdiocese, a large group of young people from different places, accompanied by youth pastoral agents and other collaborators, we were able to begin on Saturday the 5th with a Eucharist presided over by the Archbishop, Angel Rossi sj. Afterwards, we had a time of reflection and an urban pilgrimage that concluded at the Major Seminary of Cordoba. There we lived simultaneously the transmission of the Vigil. Once the WYD program organized by the archdiocese was over, the Daughters of Jesus had a meeting with young people in our house, in the Blessed Mother, to continue the vigil until the early hours of Sunday morning.
We live it alternating with different moments: dynamics, recreation, reflection, adoration, even
join all the young pilgrims in Lisbon for the closing Mass with Pope Francis. The meeting culminated with a delicious breakfast in the dining room and, in the house chapel, a gesture of missionary zeal based on the charism of Mother Candida.
In Venezuela, although there is no physical presence of the Daughters of Jesus, the charism is very much alive and present. The Congregation, at a moment in the country’s history, sowed its seeds. Among them has been the contact with a young referent Samuel Cortesmember of the Asociación Civil Familia Madre CándidaHe encourages the youth with all the ideas and proposals that we send him to share in his local reality, always open and available to the initiatives, in this case, to live the WYD. In addition to encouraging young Venezuelans to follow the central events of WYD through networks, he shared with us that a young medical student, former student of our school, has been a member of the WYD team. Cándida María de Jesús ‘Fe y Alegría’ , had the opportunity to travel and live the WYD experience in Lisbon.
And so, beyond our geographical distances, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela, united in spirit as one family, as Daughters, sons, sisters and brothers, we have lived this WYD, just as God, in the charism of M. Candida, calls us, gathers us and sends us. Candida calls us, gathers us and sends us.
It is nice to go through the heart the previous time and, remembering the process we have been doing, to tell the Lord, together with our Mother Mary, that the “Go… Let’s go” that we received from them tells us today: “Courage, without haste, but without pause, go forth, without delay”.
We are deciphering these calls little by little, taking steps in youth ministry as a single Province, and that makes us happy and gives us strength. The numbers do not matter, what matters are the concrete people and what we can create together, because God is there in what we can do, being all of us pastoral agents of other young people.
We are working on it and we continue to receive your prayers.
Celina Garcia, FI