AMERICA/PANAMA - The Bishops' Challenge: participation of the excluded and vulnerable young people in WYD 2019

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 youth   world youth day   poverty   local churches  

Arcidiocesi di Panama

Panama (Agenzia Fides) - "Young Panamanians, young people make their way looking at the future with hope; you are missionaries of Jesus. I invite you to WYD 2019 in Panama, a feast where we will meet Jesus, together with the Successor of Peter" said Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa, Archbishop of Panama, in a statement sent to Agenzia Fides, during the official registration of all the Panamanian Bishops and young people of each ecclesiastical district as pilgrims for World Youth Day, which took place on Sunday, February 18, in Atalaya, diocese of Santiago.
The Archbishop emphasized that, as a host country, one of the challenges that must be faced will be "to ensure that the excluded and vulnerable young people can participate in this unique experience that will mark their lives in a positive way, because perhaps many have lost hope". Therefore, continuing with the challenges to be faced, Mgr. Manuel Ochogavía, Bishop of Colon-Kuna Yala and head of the National Youth Pastoral, added: "The greatest challenge we have as a country is not the development of the initiative itself, but the challenge of opening our hearts to all the pilgrims in the world".
"Pope Francis thought about Panama, especially the young people of today's social suburbs - continued Mgr. Ochogavía -, and we must promote a place to get to know each other and recognize each other as brothers, in a space of dialogue and exchange, which is what is created in WYD".
The Bishop of Colón, one of the areas most affected by marginalization and violence in the country, underlined: "We must and can find ourselves on the path of common ideals of faith, hope, universal peace and fraternity".
The 5,619 young people from the Panamanian suburbs who registered this Sunday received an invitation to be protagonists of their own history and country, starting from their participation in WYD, to be able to foster the change that the universal Church and world need.
Currently, 1,042 youth groups have requested to register for WYD, for a total of 42,000 pilgrims from almost 70 countries. According to the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) of Panama, 19.1% of people in Panama live in multidimensional poor families, being one of the Latin American countries that shows the greatest imbalances in the concentration of wealth. (LG) (Agenzia Fides, 20/02/2018)