Panama participates in papal ceremonies, to mark the end of preparations for WYD

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The Christmas Mass at the Vatican was also special for WYD. This is because two Panamanian children participated in the procession of the pope with the Child Jesus. 

It was the last gesture marking the final preparations for WYD here in Rome and in the Vatican.

December was a very Panamanian month in the Vatican. For example, during the pope's Mass for the feast of Our of Guadalupe two young women and a girl in traditional Panamanian clothes presented the offerings to the pope. 

Panama also sponsored the exhibition “100 Nativity Scenes” with some of the most beautiful Nativities from across the world. The opening ceremony was accompanied with the singing of the WYD anthem and several Panamanian Christmas carols. 

In addition, the executive team of WYD and representatives of Panama's government met in Rome with the international press to give the final details. 

Government of Panama
For pilgrims coming from countries where we do not have consular presence, we have launched an Internet platform so they can request a Visa. They have to include a letter from their bishop, and one from the WYD Committee. This joint procedure will allow the participation of people from Africa and other countries of Arab origin.

Archbishop of Panama
“We are already preparing to receive pilgrims from all continents and more than 155 countries, so we can meet in Panama and celebrate this event of fraternity. There together we can dream of a new world; and the possibility of a new Church.”

José Domingo Ulloa, Archbishop of Panama, says that for the first time the WYD will include a meeting for indigenous youth from all over the world; and another for young people of African descent.

Archbishop of Panama
“For the first time, we are going to gather more than a thousand indigenous people from all over the world for a special catechesis. We are also holding a catechesis for people of Afro-descendants. We are looking forward to it and above all we are going to hold this indigenous meeting in one of the regions.”

The pope also met with this official delegation. Ambassador Miroslava Rosas introduced him one by one to the boys and girls of the group, who visited him wearing their traditional clothes. 

It was a meeting where gifts were presented and photographs taken. They will meet again in a few weeks, but this time in Panama.   

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