- Armando Machado
- Feb 17, 2019
Pilgrims from the New York Archdiocese who attended the world-class retreat led by Pope Francis that was World Youth Day in Panama felt renewed in their faith journey and are still cherishing the moment as a joyful turning point they will always remember.
The joyous harmony of people coming together from so many different nations for World Youth Day stands in sharp contrast to today’s “sad” situation of confrontational nationalist feelings, Pope Francis said.
In an airborne press conference on Sunday, Pope Francis strove to “deflate” expectations for a summit on clerical sexual abuse next month and also rejected optional celibacy for Catholic priests.
Just before leaving the physical and human warmth of Panama Jan. 27, Pope Francis stopped to thank the thousands of official volunteers, young and old, gathered at the capital city’s Rommel Fernandez Stadium to tell them that they had just participated in an event similar to one that took place early in Christianity.
On Sunday it was announced that the next global World Youth Day gathering would take place in Lisbon, Portugal, just a stone’s throw from the site of the 1917 Marian apparitions in Fatima. Often referred to as a “Catholic Woodstock,” WYD is by far the biggest event the Church organizes on a regular basis, and rarely has it been so rooted in Marian devotion.
Pope Francis on Sunday addressed Venezuela, the Philippines, Brazil and Colombia.