“Stand Up! I appoint you as a witness of what you have seen (Acts 26:16)”
World Youth Day is most commonly known as an international gathering drawing millions of young people from around the world. However, World Youth Day is an annual event that, since its inception in 1985, has been celebrated on Palm Sunday. Pope Francis moved the celebration of World Youth Day to the Solemnity of Christ the King, which this year is being celebrated on Sunday, November 21.
Each year, the Pope announces a theme and writes a message specifically for young people. This year, the theme is “Stand up! I appoint you as a witness of what you have seen” (Acts 26:16). Pope Francis’ message can be found on the Vatican Website (https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/youth/documents/papa-francesco_20210914_messaggio-giovani_2021.html)
World Youth Day invites local dioceses and parishes to celebrate the contribution of young people in their communities and to pray for them in a particular way. It is also an opportunity for the young Church to gather and celebrate their faith through festivals, catechetical lectures, service initiatives, and prayer.
This weekend, the Diocesan Youth Ministry Office invites all parishes in the Diocese to include a special petition for the young people of the parish as part of the Prayers of the Faithful. There are suggestions included below.
Keep the spirit of World Youth Day alive year-round by finding ways to engage young people in the life of your parish or pastoral unit. This could be through programs for young people, praying for them on a regular basis, or by involving them in various liturgical ministries. If you are looking for more information on how you can include the young people of your community, Lauren van Vliet, the Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator, is happy to help.
The next international World Youth Day is scheduled to be hosted in Lisbon, Portugal in August 2023.
To stay up to date on World Youth Day and other youth ministry initiatives in our Diocese, follow the Diocesan Youth Office on Facebook (@Diocese of Charlottetown Youth Office) and Instagram (@dcyouthministryoffice).
Suggested Prayers Intentions:
- For the youth of our parish, that they will find a spiritual home and support in our community. We pray to the Lord
- For young people, on World Youth Day, that they will follow Christ’s example and live as witnesses to the Gospel. We pray to the Lord