Each year, the Pope selects a pastoral theme of focus for the Youth of the Church. The purpose of each theme, quoted from Scripture, is to invite young disciples across the world to live their faith as authentic pilgrims journeying with Jesus, in the Spirit, to the Father’s house. This tradition is rooted in the World Youth Day (WYD) initiative instituted by Pope St. John Paul II in 1985. Each year, WYD was to be celebrated on Palm Sunday until Pope Francis moved it to the annual Feast of Christ the King in 2020. Every 2 to 3 years, a large inter-continental version of WYD is celebrated in a host country selected by the Pope. The next one will in Lisbon, Portugal, from 1 to 6 Aug 2023. Between these main gatherings, WYD is celebrated on local level.
By embracing the Pope’s selected themes in the spirit of pilgrimage young people have an opportunity to enrich our spiritual lives by engaging with the Word deeply, exploring resources that can enlighten us, sharing our faith with fellow youth, embracing mission as young agents of evangelisation, deepening our personal relationships with Jesus in our private and communal spaces of prayer, and experiencing conversion into ever-better versions of ourselves for God’s glory.
Below are monthly sub-themes that our archdiocesan youth will be exploring throughout 2023. We will be invoking the accompaniment of a young patron saint for each sub-theme, and we invite you to anticipate each of them already. The key theme of 2023 is taken from the Luke 1:39, “Mary rose and went with haste”. This is the theme of WYD 2023. The purpose of every sub-theme is to deepen our exploration of this key theme through scriptural reflections, resources and various activities. Throughout the coming year detailed theme cards and other materials will be broadcast to parishes and on our social media platforms. We will seek to interact with youth from a diversity of backgrounds and invite them to share their stories with us on these same platforms.
We eagerly invite the participation of all young disciples and challenge you to make more!