World Youth Day 2023 Returns After Suspension in 2022

By: Augusto Urbano II
August 01, 2023

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cebu seen celebrating World Youth Day after a suspension in 2022 halted festivities. Photo courtesy of Rappler.

The 2023 World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon, Portugal is set to have its commencement today, August 1, 2023. 

The WYD is a six-day event of the Catholic Church, which occurs every three years with the attendance of the Pope. It has been hosted by different countries since its establishment by Pope John Paul II in 1985. It was postponed in 2022 due to COVID-19 Pandemic.

More than 900 delegates from the different dioceses of the Philippines and thousands of young people from around the world are expected to attend the biggest event in the Catholic Church.  

The opening mass of this year’s WYD will be celebrated by the Metropolitan Cardinal- Patriarch of Lisbon, Dom. Manuel Clemente at 7:00 p.m. Lisbon time at The Colina do Encontro of the Eduardo VII park. 

Three months prior to the event, the Holy Father Francis confirmed his attendance stating; “I’m waiting for you in Lisbon!” He challenged the youth to meet with him during the celebration of this very exciting event for the Church. 

The pope is scheduled to attend and host the welcome ceremony on August 3, to be followed by The Way of the Cross the day after. An evening vigil will be held on August 5, and the pope is set to celebrate the Missioning Mass in addition to an audience with the youth and volunteers on the last day of the event. 

In an interview with The LANCE, Rev. Fr. Omar John O. Paris, a priest from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Iba said, “WYD for me is a sharing of diverse faith cultures of every youth and communities all over the world.” 

When asked about what impact the event would have on the youth, the priest added, “The impact of WYD to the youth in the Church is Fraternity, Solidarity, and most especially, Communion.”