More than 200 students and young adults from across the Diocese of Broken Bay are set to begin their journey towards World Youth Day 2023 on Friday, with a night of testimony, prayer and Portuguese themed festivities.
Just over a year out from the start of WYD in Lisbon, Portugal, Broken Bay Bishop Anthony Randazzo will use the event to invite the youth of the Diocese to join him in pilgrimage and ask them to step out on a journey with God.
World Youth Day is a gathering of young people from across the globe and an intense moment of evangelisation for the youth world. The pilgrimage was instituted by St Pope John Paul II, following the success of a youth gathering in Rome in 1984. The first official WYD occurred two years later in 1986.
At the launch event on Friday, the youth of the Diocese will be given details on what to expect on pilgrimage with Broken Bay to WYD 2023. They will also hear from two young adults, Mon Marysia and Ivica Covic, who have gone on pilgrimage with Broken Bay in the past.
The theme of WYD 2023 is “Mary arose and went with haste” (Luke 1:39), and Bishop Randazzo will implore the gathered youth on Friday to be filled with the same excitement and wonder for their own encounter with Christ and his Church as they journey to Lisbon.
The evening will begin food and festivities before performances from Catholic Youth Broken Bay’s Glorious evangelisation initiative, launched earlier this year. The night will also be punctuated by games, a quiz and prize-giving. Bishop Randazzo will also lead the youth in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
Broken Bay has been involved in WYD since at least 1995. The first Broken Bay pilgrimage occurred in 2002 when 45 young people, from parishes and schools travelled to Toronto, Canada with Bishop David Walker. Since then, Broken Bay has taken a pilgrimage to every WYD.
During the week of 1 to 6 August 2023, Lisbon will welcome young people from across the globe to participate in various celebrations across the city, including several involving the Pope. While clear in its Catholic identity, WYD is open to all youth, no matter how close to or distant from the Church they are.
The pilgrimage is an opportunity for the youth of the world to experience the universality of the Catholic Church. It’s also chance for young people to deepen their faith and grow closer to Christ, together with hundreds of thousands of others.
The Diocese of Broken Bay’s Youth Day 2023 launch will be on Friday, 26 April at The Light of Christ Centre, Waitara at 6pm.