A World Youth Day Acrostic

By Charles Ramos

Charles, one of our Looking to Lisbon leaders, has written an acrostic specially for World Youth Day…

Welcome, Olá! I aim to teach you a few things about World Youth Day, the largest Catholic youth festival in the world, commencing in about six months.

Originally planned for 2022, this World Youth Day is the first one since the coronavirus pandemic struck the planet. 

Readiness is key to the theme, ‘Mary rose and went with haste’ (Luke 1:39), and as Catholics, we should always be ready, with our commitment to God.

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, located where the climate is hotter and the beaches may be better, and the Catholicism stronger, where a majority of the population share the faith.

Diversity will be seen, as people from many walks of life will attend, so you will discover stories of people around the globe, and even tell a few of your own, if you open your heart to it!

Young and free: this summer, I will have finished my A-level exams and am excited to attend WYD with my friends before heading off to university and while I don’t exactly know my future, trusting in God’s plan is a haven for me at this time.

Open to new cultures: I have never been to Portugal before, but travelling has always been on my bucket list – one of my New Year’s resolutions was teaching myself Portuguese on Duolingo to prepare myself and time will tell if it succeeds…

Universal’ is the meaning of the word ‘Catholic’, originating from the Greek adjective katholikos, and through the one faith I want to connect with others.

Thirsting for horizons’ is something Pope Francis has said about young people at WYD, so this is a fantastic chance to go out of our comfort zone and become more open-minded. 

Holiness is a feeling I aspire to deepen through everyone in Lisbon, celebrating Mass as one body and seeing the Pope in person – I hope to return to England with an even stronger faith

Devoted to God and the saints: I am motivated to live by the example of the event’s patrons of Francisco and Jacinta Marto, Mary of the Divine Heart, and Alexandrina of Balazar whose stories are moving.

Awe-inspired: I want to see that the Church is still alive and kicking; with two million pilgrims, it’d be hard to ignore, but in today’s society, it is a comforting feeling knowing you are not alone, and that a community, a truly global community, is there if you need it.

Yours to make the most of it, World Youth Day is. I just hope to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, given by the diocese, but everyone will take something unique out of it. I wish to see you there! Tchau!

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