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A foretaste of Portugal: traditional music, food and dancing got pilgrims excited for World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
A foretaste of Portugal: traditional music, food and dancing got pilgrims excited for World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

Lit up in red, green and yellow, St Mary’s Cathedral College Hall was transformed into a “Little Lisbon” as the Sydney Archdiocese celebrated this year’s local World Youth Day on 20 November.

Traditional Portuguese music, food and a crash-course in the Portuguese language encouraged the hundreds of gathered youth to prepare for World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Festivities began with a Mass celebrated at St Mary’s Cathedral by Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP with Bishop Richard Umbers and Bishop Daniel Meagher.

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Falling on the Solemnity of Christ the King, as with all local World Youth Day events, the Archbishop’s homily drew focus on the Kingship of Christ.

“traditional portuguese music, food and a crash-course in the portuguese language encouraged the hundreds of youth to prepare for world youth day in lisbon”

“What better example of Christ’s universal kingship than World Youth Day,” said Archbishop Fisher OP.

“Millions of young people from every continent on earth gathered joyously to celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit.”

“My dear young friends, make Christ the King of your hearts, let the Good News of God’s Kingdom inform all you do, and make His kingdom come, now on earth as it is in heaven!”

Archbishop Fisher OP recalled Pope Francis’ invitation to ‘imitate the Virgin Annunciate in her excitement about the coming of Christ and her urgency about being at service to others’.

World Youth Day celebrations continued into St Mary’s Cathedral Hall as the youth were treated to traditional Portuguese music, food and a crash-course in the Portuguese language by Somascan Fr Chris de Sousa CRS. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
World Youth Day celebrations continued into St Mary’s Cathedral Hall as the youth were treated to traditional Portuguese music, food and a crash-course in the Portuguese language by Somascan Fr Chris de Sousa CRS. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

Highlighting Mary’s trust in God and her quick proclamation of God’s plan, as witnessed in the theme for World Youth Day 2023, the youth were called to follow her example and boldly proclaim God’s love to ‘a world that needs it more than ever’.

The celebrations continued into St Mary’s Cathedral College Hall as, after being welcomed by Bishop Richard Umbers, the youth were treated to traditional Portuguese food and were entertained by music and dance performed by Grupo Folclórico da Madeira, a folk dancing group based in Marrickville.

Father Chris de Sousa CRS gave a Catechesis on Catholicism in Portugal and the part it has played in shaping the country both physically and spiritually.

“Religion Teacher and World Youth Day pilgrim, Joel Capinig, encouraged the youth to not get caught up in finding their ‘God moment’ while on pilgrimage and just be present trusting that Our Lord will reveal Himself to them.”

Fr Chris said he hoped Portugal’s missionary spirit inspires everyone to ‘go with haste, like our blessed mother did, and come back with the missionary zeal to go make disciples’.

The night included Portuguese lessons, trivia and a personal testimony by Religion Teacher and World Youth Day pilgrim, Joel Capinig, who encouraged the youth to not get caught up in finding their ‘God moment’ while on pilgrimage and just be present trusting that Our Lord will reveal Himself to them.

For those who wish to travel to WYD2023 with other young adults in the Sydney Archdiocese via the Holy Land, Italy or direct to Portugal, you can register via https://wydjourneys.com

For more information contact the Sydney Catholic Youth Office at [email protected] or visit www.sydneycatholicyouth.org

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