Countdown to World Youth Day

By James Boohan

James is one of our Looking to Lisbon leaders. Here he writes about why he’s looking forward to World Youth Day.

With less than 6 months until World Youth Day (WYD), the countdown to the worlds largest Catholic event has begun.

Every 2-3 years two million Catholics aged 16-35 descend on a city to celebrate our faith, meet other people, and have the best time of our lives. This year Lisbon in Portugal has been the city of choice by Pope Francis to hold this prestigious event.

Pope Francis wants this World Youth Day to be a unique creative event with life and strength following the COVID pandemic.

‘[Everyone needs] to prepare and help so that the August 2023 event is a youthful event, a fresh event, an event with life, an event with strength, a creative event.’ He continues, saying, ‘If you are not creative, if you are not poets, this meeting will not work, it will not be original, it will be a photocopy of other meetings, and as the young Italian blessed [Carlo Acutis] said: each one of us must be original, not a photocopy.’

‘Why do you want to go?’

It is a once in a lifetime chance to experience one of the greatest events in the Catholic calendar. It is an opportunity to make new friends from around the world and strengthen my faith with people my age.

As we will be in Portugal, I thought it may be a nice idea to learn a few phrases to get around with the last one being the most important(!):

Olá ~ Hello

Obrigado/a ~ thank you (Depending on if you are a boy or girl)

Por favor ~ Please

Como vai ~ how are you?

Deus te abençoe ~ God bless you

Posso, por favor, ter uma xícara de chá ~ Could I please have a cup of tea.

See you in Lisbon!

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