The Catholic Church's biggest global event, World Youth Day, is just around the corner.
Thousands of young people from all over the world are expected to travel to Portugal in August. In Italy, participation is strong among the youth—especially in Rome.
Here, from parishes, cultural centers and other ecclesial movements, the young people are almost fully prepared. They only need the money to pay for the trip.
The boys and girls of the Roman parish of St. Thomas More discuss their fundraising plans.
Among these activities we will hold an open-air cinema, now that the good weather is coming, and that everyone can contribute whatever they want at the entrance. Also, for the feast of St. Thomas More, we will organize a dinner for the whole community. It will be a way to raise money for our pilgrimage.
There is great desire to get to Lisbon.
The closer the date gets, the more we are looking forward to going all together.
I'm very excited, it's my first time and I've heard many things about it. I'm 21 years old and I haven't gone yet.
There are others like Alexia who are seasoned attendants. She was at World Youth Day in Krakow in 2016.
It was very nice to see all these young people. I remember that I was not confident in what I was going to do—but then what filled me so much was being accepted by the rest of the group.
And there are other groups that take this trip very seriously. The musical group Gen Verde even prepared a song.
I participated in two World Youth Days. The last one was in Panama. The atmosphere was very beautiful. There was an incredible sense of universality.
Gen Verde comes from a more recent movement of the Catholic Church focused on spiritual renewal and known as the Focolare Movement. Gen Verde not only performs in front of the audiences at World Youth Day. They also perform in more challenging settings, like prisons.
Going there changed me. Singing in front of all those women who were there for different and sometimes unimaginable reasons.
World Youth Day in Lisbon is the first since the pandemic, so many are expectant to see how young people respond to this call of the Pope.
Pope Francis has already participated in three other years—first in Brazil in 2013, then Poland in 2016 and most recently in Panama in 2019.