One of the enduring legacies of Pope Saint John Paul II are World Youth Days, a tradition carried on by Pope Benedict and now Pope Francis, when our Holy Father calls our young people together to find support, encouragement, and inspiration in each other and in our universal Church. World Youth Day 2023 in Portugal is sure to be no exception, and I hope you will prayerfully consider attending!
WYD 2023 is an opportunity for young people throughout the world to gather and experience the transformative power of our Catholic faith, through prayer, catechesis and fellowship each day, to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima and other pilgrimage sites, and to pray with our Lord in Adoration—led by Pope Francis. You will be able to experience how truly universal our Church is, while being challenged by all that comes with embarking on a pilgrimage and growing in faith with fellow young adults, priests and other spiritual leaders.
The theme for this year is “Mary arose and went with haste.” (Lk 1:39) What an appropriate theme, helping us to meditate and contemplate our own personal spiritual lives and the role you and I can play in helping shape the future of our Church. We need to be bold and act in urgency sharing the Gospel wherever we are called—at home, school, work, or wherever we find ourselves. We are all called to step out and partake in community. Our world needs us now more than ever.
I’ve seen the transformative power of World Youth Days up close; rarely do those who attend return home unchanged, more deeply committed to their faith. If you’re a young adult of our Archdiocese, why not take that bold step into the arms of Jesus and Mary in Portugal. Your presence and your witness can echo for generations to come. To my fellow priests and ministry leaders, I invite you to consider sharing this message with the young adults in your communities. Encourage them and keep them in your prayers. I know I will certainly do so!
With prayerful best wishes, I am,
Faithfully in Christ,
+ Cardinal Timothy Dolan
Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York