The case for participating in WYD in Portugal

The case for participating in WYD in Portugal

The next World Youth Day (WYD) will be held in Portugal in 2022. In brief, WYD is a Catholic Youth Festival that was introduced by the late Pope St. John Paul II in the 1980s.

The most immediate WYD was held in Panama in 2019 under the theme “Behold I am the handmaid of the LORD let it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38.The entire programme was focused on being fully surrendered to God and saying yes to His will. Pope Francis’s final message at the WYD included a reminder to all youth that we are the now of God.

As is usual, the venue for the next WYD was announced during the closing mass. The next venue is Portugal. The dates, theme and other details are yet to be announced. But from now till then, it’s basically about three years plus.

So a few thoughts. Portugal is quite close to Africa so it should be relatively less expensive. I want to propose that youth in Ghana decide to attend the WYD 2022 either as a volunteer or participant.

Whether you’re a student or a worker, it is possible to raise funds, save or be sponsored to attend the WYD. Although on the face value it seems expensive, it’s a very life changing experience which I believe every Catholic should have. Many parishes and dioceses in Ghana sponsor active youth to WYD. It’s important to start early; you can save daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly according to your strength. You can also raise funds from family, friends and other benefactors if need be.

The experience of travelling, the opportunity to experience the Catholic faith in another country, becoming a member of a Catholic family in another country, meeting and interacting with new people, sharing your faith with others and seeing the universality of the church are among some of the benefits of participating in WYD. There are many other benefits.

And the location! Portugal is old Europe so it will be pretty exciting to travel and see. In addition, because of the Schengen visa it will be pretty easy to potentially see a few other places such as Lourdes in France, a site of Marian apparitions. Of course, Fatima is also in Portugal so it’ll be great to visit.

You can go as an individual, with the Archdiocese of Accra, the Ghana National Catholic Youth Council (GHANCYC) or with a private agency organizing a WYD trip such as Safe Life Experience Consult in Ghana.
Try to explore the available options and choose what’s best for you.

A key thing to remember is to start getting your documents ready. You’ll need a visa which is quite a laborious process especially in developing countries where you need to show your social and economic ties to your country before you can be considered for a visa. So you’ll need your birth certificate, your marriage certificate if you are married, your bank account statements (which should be quite substantial; even if you’re a student please try to engage in some bank transactions). You would also need letters from your school (if you’re a student), your workplace (if you’re a worker) and your company if you’re self employed. You also need to add your company documents if you’re self employed. Salary slips may also be needed.

Angela Azumah Alu, 12/04/2019, Legon
lisbon 2022

 

 

 

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Reasons to attend World Youth Day in Panama 2019

Reasons to attend World Youth Day in Panama 2019

So this post was in response to a question about the need to attend the next World Youth Day in Panama 2019.

By way of introduction, the World Youth Day (WYD) is an international festival for Catholic and other Youth. It was started by late Pope John Paul II. It usually happens every two (2) or three (3) years. In between, there are diocesan and national WYDs.

In 2018, there would be a National Version of the WYD in Ghana from 27th July to 5th August 2018 in the Greater Accra Region with the climax at the University of Ghana. And in 2019, the international Version of the World Youth Day will be in Panama from 22nd to 27th January 2019. Here’s a link to the site: https://www.panama2019.pa/en/home/

The Youth of the Archdiocese of Accra will in addition to the WYD in Panama also visit the USA (Washington and New York) and tour in Panama. So they will travel from 2nd to 29th January 2019.

Below is the Post:
17/12/2017
16:57

Well, I guess it’s a question worth asking. And there are a lot of answers to give .

One of the very first things is that as a pilgrimage, it can be considered as in service training for youth and youth leaders. This is because it provides them with an opportunity to go and pray and to experience the catholic church in its universality. You might argue that we can always pray in the home church but remember that its the same reason why companies send their staff for training out of the office and why the kingdom of God is likened to a pearl you have to sell everything to get. There’s nothing like being in a place for the sole purpose of fellowshipping with God and other catholic youth. It is literally life changing! You get to hear God as never before because you are away from the usual distractions of life. Everyone who attends has many stories of how God spoke to them and used them to minister to others.

Secondly, as youth  and as Catholics, experiencing a Catholic celebration with millions of other catholic youth from all over the world broadens your horizons, gives you new perspectives on how to exercise your faith and how to lead and generally becomes a stepping stone for greater heights. The youthful exuberance is so much that it changes you.

Thirdly, you have the opportunity to exercise your faith through the various religious and cultural activities you participate in. In addition, during the mission days, you are literally a missionary to the family you are staying with. What a way to obey the great commission! You become a lifelong member of that family too! You also get to meet, make friends with and minister to other catholic youth you may never otherwise meet. And of course showcase great Ghanaian culture and experience other cultures.

A fourth reason to go for World Youth Day with the  Accra Archdiocese is that because of the format of going with youth from the various parishes, you literally have a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet with and spend time with other youth from the diocese over an extended period of time. The friendships and sharing that occur over this period tend to be lasting and very impactful.

A fifth reason is that since for many of the pilgrims it is their first time of travelling, it literally becomes an opportunity to get them out into the world in a faith like environment. This helps with getting your documentation and all other things needed for international travel in order. That way, the church is literally being shrewd in giving its young people an international experience so that in other years, they have an easier and smoother travelling experience. And of course, as you travel you see more and come back with more to teach and impact others with.

Anyway, I will end here. From a physical perspective, it seems like a lot of money and the question may be asked why that money should not be used to cater for the poor and needy in the church. Jesus’s words when Mary wiped his feet with an expensive jar of alabaster oil come to mind. The poor and needy will always be with us and we need to take care of them but, just as Mary anointed Jesus’s feet and Jesus promised that this act will be said in remembrance of her, so it is important for youth/the parish to literally do all that is necessary to take part in international WYD at this time because there may be no other time.

Angela Azumah Alu
17/12/17

wyd quote

Short Message for Students of Jinijini SHS

Short Message for Students of Jinijini SHS

Dear students,

It is a pleasure to send this message to you.
We thank God for your lives and for the many wonderful potentials He has placed in you.
Our message is that with God there is nothing that is impossible. (Luke 1:37)
I challenge you today to offer your hearts to God if you have never done so before.
If you have, I encourage you to reaffirm your commitment to Him and to trust Him with everything. In Joshua 1:8, he promises that if we meditate on His law day and night and obey it, we will have great success.
He has great plans for you if only you commit yourself to Him wholly.
And in the bible He shows us examples of many young people like us that He chose and gave great success too.
He used Joseph, formerly a spoilt brat who became a slave, to save the people of Egypt and his own family.
He used Esther, an orphan who became a queen to save the Israelites.
He chose Ruth, a young Moabite widow, and made her an ancestress of the Messiah, Jesus.
He chose David, a young shepherd, to be a king.
He chose Jeremiah to be a prophet when he was young.
He chose Daniel, a young exile, to be a leader.
He chose Mary to bear the Messiah when she was young.
There are many other examples of young people that God chose.
Even recently,
Martin Luther King Jnr was a young pastor who stood against racism in the USA.
In Ghana, there are many examples of young people who have achieved great things……Kwame Nkrumah was a young man when he joined the fight for independence for Ghana.
There are many other examples of young men and women who are doing amazing things like the 9/11 year old who wrote a book, Justin Bieber and Adel (musicians), even President Obama who became president of USA at a youthful age. We can talk of Wiyaala, a Ghanaian musician who came from a very poor background….her first time of going to Accra was to audition for stars of the future.
Portia Dery who is helping to teach Ghanaian children in the North love reading and is an author herself,…….the examples are innumerable.
He does not promise that the going will be easy but He promises to be with you and to deliver you. (Jer 1:19)
He knows all about you and knows your deepest desires but He invites you to commit your ways to Him so He directs your paths. (Pro 3:5-6)
He has great plans for you….only trust Him!Learn to hear Him speak to you if you have not done so already and always be prepared to obey His words.
Know that you are unique and that God has a plan for you. (Psalm 139:16). Believe in your own uniqueness and never listen to the devil’s lies that you are not good enough or that you will amount to nothing. No matter how many people you hear that from, it is NOT TRUE! You are created in God’s image and likeness; you are His work of art and you were created for good and amazing works. (Eph 2:10)
Only trust Him! He is faithful and ever able to do much more than you could ever hope for imagine. (Eph 3:20) Do you think your dreams are too big? To God they are not, He will do more than that for you. If you don’t even have dreams, I pray that you begin to dream today and see how far God takes you.
May He give you a desire to leave a legacy in your school, your community, the nation and even the world as a whole. But most importantly, may you come to know Him as He truly is and see the extent of His love for you. (Eph 3:14-19)
God loves you and so do we!
Angela Azumah Alu 5/12/15, Legon