Yes! New Zealand sending delegates to World Youth Day 2023

World Youth Day

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference’s Council for Young People is making plans to send delegates to World Youth Day (WYD) 2023.

They have received the go-ahead from the bishops and are now on a countdown to the big event.

Although the Covid epidemic delayed the international get-together for a year, Pope Francis has confirmed it will now take place in Lisbon, Portugal next year from 1 to 6 August.

It’s an event he’s looking forward to – but acknowledges planning is “not easy because the world is moving from crisis to crisis.

“We came out of a pandemic crisis, we entered an economic crisis and now we are in the crisis of war, which is one of the worst evils that can happen!” Francis said when he announced next year’s meet-up.

“In the midst of all these crises, we must prepare and help so that the August 2023 event is a young event, a fresh event, an event with life, an event with strength, a creative event.

“As the young Italian Blessed [Carlo Acutis] said: ‘Each one of us must be original, not a copy’. And the meeting must be original with everyone’s contribution. It is up to you to create it. Take heart and go ahead!”

Learning and sharing with the community

Before the WYD event, a “Days in Diocese” experience is being prepared for participants.

This will involve an ecclesial sharing of faith where young people are hosted and accommodated in family homes and large public facilities from north to the south of Portugal, including the islands.

During these days, the participants can get to know their host region better, as well as the local Church and its features.

World Youth Day 2023 theme

The theme for WYD 2023 is “Mary arose and went with haste” (Lk1:38).

Like Mary, young people must be courageous missionaries, Francis says.

“Mary of Nazareth is the great figure of the Christian journey. She teaches us to say yes to God. She was the protagonist of the last edition of WYD and will be so once again in Lisbon,” organisers say.

“The action of standing up presents Mary as both a woman of charity and a missionary woman.

“Leaving in haste” mirrors the pope’s hopes for WYD 2023: «may young people’s evangelisation be active and missionary, for this is how they will recognise and witness the presence of the living Christ».”


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News category: New Zealand, Palmerston.

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