Twenty-one youth delegates will be representing the Archdiocese of Castries at this year’s World Youth Day (WYD) in Panama, January 22–27.
The youths, accompanied by delegation leader Sr Velorna Gervais SSM, and Frs Ignatius Cetoute and Arockiasamy Gabriel MSFS departed their home diocese January 13 for Port of Spain on the first leg of their journey.
Sr Velorna told Catholic News that after a long day, COPA Airlines CM 0365 landed in Panama with some sleepy but excited pilgrims. “We were met at the airport by an equally excited welcoming team from the diocese of Colon Kuna Yala,” she said.
In a WhatsApp message to Catholic News last Tuesday, Sr Velorna said that the goals of the youth are to have a great spiritual experience and to see the Holy Father. She mentioned that though some of the delegates have participated in previous WYDs, each year is different.
Prior to their departure, the delegates engaged in spiritual preparation and regular meetings. Some of the participants attended the Antilles Episcopal Conference Youth Assembly (AECYA) in Martinique last year and all attended the annual youth rally in November 2018.
After receiving their welcome packages and meeting with their hosts and parish volunteers, there was a cultural festival exposing the youth to the rich culture of Panama. “The youth are looking forward to the WYD week of events,” she said.
The Castries delegation is scheduled to return home January 28 and 29.