The Redemptorist Youth and Vocations Ministry is preparing for World Youth Day in Lisbon. With 100 days to go before the start of this great youth festival, 750 people from all over the world have already signed up for the Redemptorist group. Young people from Spain, Poland, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Mexico, Argentina, Ireland, the Philippines, France, Ukraine, Haiti and the United States will attend. We will be hosting our young people in Redemptorist-run parishes in Damaia, Buraca and Venda Nueva on the outskirts of Lisboa.
On April 18 – 19, the preparatory committee met with a representative of the General Commission of the Redemptorist Youth and Vocationa Minitry (RYVM) in the parish of the Most Holy Redeemer in Damaia. Groups of young people from all over the world who have registered through our website form the RYVM macro-group. They will be deployed in our parishes, schools, and parishioners’ homes. It is worth mentioning that this location is not far from the centre of Lisbon. The centre can be reached within 20 minutes by metro or suburban train.
World Youth Day will take place from 1 to 6 August. The theme for this meeting is the biblical quote: “Mary arose and went with haste” (Lk 1:39). The central events are the meeting with Pope Francis, the Stations of the Cross (Via Crucis), the evening prayer vigil and the closing Mass with the sending of the young people. The venue for the sending-off Eucharist will be the Park of Nations (Parque das Nações) on the banks of the Tagus River. For the three days before noon, there will be catechesis and Eucharist, called ‘Rise Up meetings’ in the programme. In the afternoon, there will be a youth festival in the squares in different areas of the city. There will also be a space to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation and penance. The venue is planned in one of Lisbon’s central squares, the Vasco da Gama Garden, opposite the famous Jerónimos Monastery and near the Belem Tower.
Redemptorist youth will meet together as part of the Alphonsian Day on Wednesday, 2 August, at the parish church in Buraca. The theme of this meeting is “Let us walk with Mary in the footsteps of the Redeemer”.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., with a sports competition and open stands where each group can present information and souvenirs from their country or region. At 4.00 p.m., there will be a meeting of the RYVM leaders (Redemptorists and lay people) with the Father General Rogerio Gomes. At 6.30 p.m., there will be a prayer vigil in the church. Then it will be time for a meal. From 21.00 to 23.00 there will be a youth festival on a specially prepared stage in the park next to the church. Each group will be able to present their culture, dances and share their joy with others.
On the other days, our young people will take part in events organised by the WYD Central Committee.
If any organised group of young people form Redemptorist parishes or pastoral centres would like to join our macro group, you are more than welcome to do so.
Fr. Paweł Drobot, CSsR
President of the General Commission of the RYVM