PORTUGAL, WYD LISBON 2023, Lena Castro Valente –
In an interview with Rádio Renascença, Bishop Américo Aguiar explained that for the first time in the history of World Youth Days, all the countries of the world will be represented, only the participation of a representative from the Maldives has yet to be confirmed. –
Don Américo Aguiar, Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon, who will succeed Cardinal Patriarch Manuel Clemente after World Youth Day and will be elevated to Cardinal at the Consistory on September 30, is chairman of the World Youth Day Committee.
Cyprus, Bolivia or North Korea, to name a few, have never before been represented at a World Youth Day.
Perhaps not a coincidence at World Youth Day in a country that for centuries has been characterized by its multiculturalism.
The surprise of this World Youth Day
For this WYD, a dialogue was planned between young Ukrainians and Russians to exchange ideas and projects of peace. But the trip that Bishop Américo made to Ukraine in mid-July showed him that such an initiative is not possible now: “The heart is still bleeding, the wounds are still healing, and it takes time. Just like in our families, in our relationships with each other, when there is trouble, when there is a problem, when there is a difficulty, it takes time,” he said in the interview.
From this experience, it was decided to create something completely new. There will be – as always – a series of catechesis in different languages (in French in my parish), but unlike before, the young people will have their say in them. “In the first part of these catechesis, the young people have the floor. The bishop is invited to listen. He will listen, make what he hears his own, and then try to put it into practice in his own catechesis and communication with the young people. Being a “master chef” in this way means getting the “ingredients” fresh on the spot, live and with the young people he is listening to, who are welcome and invited to receive and implement the message he is communicating to the young people. From all this we will take stock, which will also be a contribution to the Synod in Rome in October,” explains the future Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon in this interview with Renascença.
It is an innovative World Youth Day. In addition to this novelty, Auxiliary Bishop Américo also highlighted the digital and ecological dimension of WYD.
Mary, Queen of Portugal, take the unfolding of WYD into your hands and intercede for all this work for the Kingdom of God.