It was last Wednesday, July 26, that the gardens of the Casino do Estoril hosted the general meeting of volunteers and team leaders who will participate in World Youth Day Lisbon 2023.
The meeting, whose main objective was to promote a first contact between all those who volunteered to help in this WYD and to create a training dynamic, began its activities at 10:00 am.
After lunch, those present were able to participate in the Eucharist celebrated by the Cardinal-Patriarch of Lisbon, Bishop Manuel Clemente. At the Eucharist, Cardinal Manuel Clemente expressed his desire to end WYD saying “happy are the eyes that have seen what we have seen. Happy are the ears that heard what we heard”.
In the opinion of some Salesian volunteers who attended the meeting, this was a moment marked by “joy and fraternity” and was a sample of what the week of WYD Lisbon 2023 will be like.
“When I arrived at the Estoril Casino Gardens I was full of curiosity to know what was going to happen at that meeting, however I was little motivated and slightly affected by the ‘softness’ of the heat that afternoon. The Cardinal-Patriarch and the other priests began to arrive and so the Eucharist began. At the end of the Mass, Father João Chagas spoke and it was with his words that I began to be more captivated for that meeting”, says Frederico Coelho.
“After Father Chagas’ intervention, we saw the joy and fraternity that came from the meeting of volunteers from all over the world, gathered in those gardens: we felt the ‘smell’ of what will be the experience of WYD Lisbon 2023”, he adds.
“About yesterday’s experience I can only say that it was a sample of what I hope the week of the Day will be. It was as if all the volunteers knew each other in the midst of a very good mood. It was heart-warming when at Mass everyone prayed and sang in unison,” says Rita Morgadinho.
The core volunteers collaborate in the tasks and activities related to the central events of the Day: the meetings with the Pope, the Youth Festival, the Opening events, the City of Joy or the information points in the city, among others.