The Portuguese dioceses are already on their way to preparing for World Youth Day Lisbon 2023. Mobilizing themselves to guarantee a unique and unforgettable experience for the many young people who will arrive, all the dioceses have followed their own dynamic.
The Portuguese dioceses will receive many young people in the week leading up to World Youth Day – the Days in Dioceses (DND) – and each one is preparing in the best way possible.
At the Diocese of Braga, a team responsible for volunteering has been created, both for WYD Lisbon 2023 and for the DND. As early as November, a South Korean commission was in Braga to meet with the COD of Braga.
In Aveiro several objectives were outlined by the Diocesan Organizing Committee, including “mobilizing young people and their families to welcome the participants of WYD Lisbon 2023 during the Days in the Dioceses”, they emphasized.
In Evora, the Days in the Dioceses have been a major focus in the work plan of the Diocesan Organizing Committee and the Parish Organizing Committees, since they have proposed to receive about 5 thousand young people. Everything has been done so that nothing fails, especially with “structures, groups of volunteers, the program, food and animation of faith”, they said.
In turn, the Diocese of Viana do Castelo has promoted several meetings with international dioceses with the purpose of preparing the DND. About 600 young people are expected from three French dioceses (Metz, Nancy, and Verdun) and from the Archdiocese of Lodz, in Poland, in addition to the about 90 youngsters from the Dioceses of East Anglia and Plymouth, in the United Kingdom.
In Beja, the preparation of the Days in the dioceses has been done more at the level of each individual Parish Organizing Committee (COP) and, at this moment, everything is already being prepared to receive the pilgrims from all over the world.
In the Diocese of Leiria-Fatima, the various parishes are preparing for the Days in the Dioceses by gathering volunteers and host families.
The COD of the Diocese of Lamego has been preparing the young people “both logistically and spiritually” by meeting monthly with the CODs to “join them in the journey and also to motivate them for all the diocesan/national dynamics and initiatives”, they revealed. For the Days in the Dioceses, registrations are open for the Diocesan Choir, an initiative of this Diocese, created to welcome pilgrims from various parts of the world and to animate the sending Mass in the Diocese itself.
In Vila Real, the objective is to “create a better experience for all the young people of the diocese”, by organizing the registration as pilgrims or as volunteers.
In the Diocese of Portalegre-Castelo Branco, the COD proposed the following program to the Parishes.
July 26th -reception; July 27th – “Common Home” which includes a time of prayer in the mountain or river, ending with a parish or archdiocesan vigil in the style of Taizé; July 28th: a pilgrimage to Fátima; July 29th: missionary and intercultural day; July 30th – day of the Family and Parish Community; July 31st– sending of the pilgrims from the city of Abrantes.
Abrantes will receive 200 Norwegians and, to the same Archpriestate, 600 others from Angers, as well as young people from Bangladesh, Gabon, and Brazil. Here, the exchange with the pilgrims already began in August last year and will continue to exist, always with the objective of providing young people, and their respective families with a very rich experience.
Lisbon, Setúbal and Santarém have been appointed as Host Dioceses. As these Dioceses will receive young pilgrims during the week of WYD Lisbon 2023, they will not partake in the week before. For this very reason, the preparation has been different.
Several activities have been promoted by the Diocese of Lisbon, which has taken place at the headquarters of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of WYD Lisbon 2023. These aim to further mobilize young people to participate in the meeting with the Holy Father.
The Diocese of Setúbal has a similar dynamic to the Diocese of Lisbon in terms of recruiting volunteers and host families, as well as the dynamics of the Diocese itself.
The Santarém COD, on the other hand, has sought to organize activities that respond to logistical and spiritual needs, supporting activities carried out by the various Parish Organizational Committees.
With different concerns and adopting different dynamics, the Dioceses have been making this path of preparation, both for the Days in the Dioceses and for the week of the World Youth Day Lisbon 2023. The ultimate objective is to mobilize young Portuguese people to participate in what will be the biggest meeting of young people with the Pope.