From Missions to WYD 2023

Mary arose and went with haste

(Lk 1:39)

When registration for WYD 2023 in Lisbon officially opened, Pope Francis at the Sunday Angelus had himself signed up as the first pilgrim, involving young people from all over the world: “I invite you to sign up for this meeting in which we will rediscover, after a long period of isolation, the joy of fraternal embrace that we so badly need.

So that it would be an experience truly open to the whole world, as the Church of Bergamo we thought we would do everything possible so that some young people who attend parishes where there are diocesan missions would also have the chance to take part in this event, an opportunity more unique than rare for them, given the economic situation and the bureaucratic difficulties they face in being able to undertake a ‘regular’ journey to Europe.

The missionaries in Bolivia, Côte d’Ivoire and Cuba identified a number of young people eager to experience this adventure, and so with them began an almost year-long journey, to collect the necessary funds, for adequate training, but also for all the administrative formalities, to obtain passports, visas, airline tickets, etc.

At the end of this process the young people involved are many more than expected: 6 from the Ivory Coast, 22 from Cuba and no less than 37 from Bolivia!

At the same time, in our hemisphere, among other things, a travel programme was organised to touch on some significant places of faith, art and culture in Italy (Rome, Assisi, Venice, Milan, etc.) and Bergamo (Bergamo Alta, Sotto il Monte, etc.), involving some parishes for the reception and several volunteers for logistics and accompaniment.