Up to 5,000 Canadians are anticipated for WYD.
Isabel Correa, coordinator of World Youth Day (WYD) for the Canadian bishops, predicted that 3,000 Canadians, primarily between the ages of 16 and 35, would travel to Lisbon, Portugal for WYD 2023.
However, Canadian interest in the Catholic youth festival, which takes place from August 1 to August 6, is substantially greater than Correa initially predicted. She told the Catholic Register that she expects approximately 5,000 Canadian pilgrims.
“This is excellent news for Canada, especially after the pandemic,” said Correa, who is also the director of youth ministry for the Archdiocese of Montreal. “More than one thousand pilgrims are coming from Quebec alone, which is very thrilling.
Correa stated that she knew exactly who to credit for this accomplishment.
The Holy Ghost. He is working. “Young people are eager to have an extraordinary experience,” she said. “Many people are working on the front lines to promote World Youth Day as an extraordinary opportunity to grow not only in Christ’s relationship, but also in a global sense of community and belonging.”
Correa stated that bishops, pastors, and youth ministers also played a significant role in engaging young people in their local communities. They reached out to young people both in person and via social media. Young adults and adolescents who were interested in the event then informed their peers of their intention to participate, creating a cascading effect.
Correa says that Pope Francis’ straightforward invitation to join the young people in Lisbon also sparked interest. The Holy See Press Office recently announced the pontiff’s schedule for WYD, beginning with his August 2 arrival. The five days he spends in Portugal should be filled with personal interactions with young people, complementing the large-scale speeches and liturgies he will deliver. During his stay, he will hear confessions, have lunch with young people, and recite the rosary with them.
“He is with them, he interacts with them, and he sets the example that bishops, clergy, and the whole Church should be closer to young people,” said Correa, who has attended nine previous WYDs, beginning with Denver in 1993. “(Not only through teachings and remarks, but also by eating with them and conversing with them.
The Vatican predicts that the total number of attendees will exceed 400 thousand.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis stated in a video message, “It beckons to me and fills me with joy that so many young people are coming to World Youth Day because they must participate.” Some will state, “I’m traveling as a tourist.” However, every young person who attends WYD does so out of a deep-seated desire to participate, share, recount their experience, and receive the experience of others. They yearn for new horizons.”
Francis should encourage the masses to emulate the Virgin Mary, who said “yes” to God’s will for her life. The motto of the 2023 World Youth Day is derived from Luke 1:39: “Mary arose and hastened away.”
The numerous Canadian delegations from coast to coast will travel independently to and from WYD, but it is anticipated that the Canadian contingent will convene on-site on August 1 to celebrate WYD. In the coming days, specifics should be disclosed.