WYD 2019, WYD Press Office/Maria Fischer •
A group of four incarcerated youths, ages of 17-25, have made a crozier to present to the Pope as a gift in honor of his visit that he will make to the Pacora Custodial Facility for Adolescents on Friday, January 25th.—
The boys were able to make this piece thanks to the skills they acquired in one of the programs of re-socialization carried out in this center. Pope Francis will visit the center for adolescents to celebrate a penitential liturgy and to the hear some of the youths’ confessions. They look with optimism and joy at the Pope who will turn his gaze toward them, and they show it in their commitment with this woodworking project, one of the many initiatives they have prepared for this special visit.
A broken chain in the middle for Jesus’ cross
The crozier is a staff representing the shepherding responsibility of the bishops, and it is a symbol of ecclesiastic guidance the Cardinals carry out in all liturgical acts where they have presided since their appointment.
The wooden piece that the Pacora youths made has four parts each section is 18 inches long. The upper part of the wood carving was done by the artist, Ubaldino Batista, from the Monagrillo community, province of Herrera, the staff bears the WYD Panama 2019 logo, and on the reverse side, there is a broken chain in the middle of Jesus’ cross, symbolizing the change these youths have experienced upon learning about the Faith.
Fr. Domingo Escobar, the pastor of Nuestra Señora del Carmen de Juan Díaz and Santa María del Camino in Ciudad Radial, has been in charge of supervising the work of the representative elements of the Catholic Church, and he assures us that the youths have had a personal encounter with the Lord, which has allowed them to set goals for themselves.
This will not be the first time that the successor of Peter has met with incarcerated youths, considering this group as one of the existential peripheries that should be attended with mercy. We recall with special feeling that meeting in the Costanera de Asunción, Paraguay during Pope Francis’ visit to Paraguay when Orlando, a young boy from the Juvenile Detention Center of Itauguá greeted Pope Francis along with Fr. Pedro Kühlcke, motivating Francis to change the subject of his speech.
The youths expressed gratitude for being taken into account like another group of pilgrims, and they assured they would prepare themselves to demonstrate their rehabilitation before the Pope, willing to finish their sentences, and contribute to society in a positive way.
Sometimes we ask ourselves: What is the “product” that Schoenstatt can put in the world “market” today? Surely, there would be many answers.
One, however, is Kentenich’s pedagogy in the periphery.
Concretely and vividly, getting their hands dirty.
Original: Spanish. 12 January 2019. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA