HONIARA: Two exceptional youths, Frederica and Emanuel, from the San Isidro Deaf and Mute Center, have embarked on a momentous journey to Lisbon, Portugal, to represent the Solomon Islands at the prestigious World Youth Day (WYD) 2023 event.
The upcoming World Youth Day is set to take place in the capital city of Lisbon from August 1st to August 6th, 2023. These two outstanding individuals have been selected to join thousands of young people from all over the world in celebrating their faith and values.
Despite their hearing and speech impairments, Frederica and Emanuel selection stands as a testament to the inclusive educational practices at the San Isidro Deaf and Mute Center, fostering an environment that empowers all students to achieve their fullest potential.
Accompanying these gifted youths on their journey are their devoted teacher, Ms. Luisa, and the esteemed School Principal, Sr. Maria Fe SMSM.
The theme for this year’s World Youth Day, “Mary arose and went with haste,” taken from the Bible verse Luke 1:39, has been chosen by Pope Francis as the event’s motto, making the occasion even more significant and spiritually enriching.
World Youth Day is a truly inclusive event organized by the Catholic Church, open to young people from diverse backgrounds, irrespective of their religious affiliations. It serves as both a pilgrimage and a celebration of youth, fostering unity and creating an intense moment of evangelization for the global youth community. With its Catholic identity evident, WYD also aims to promote peace, unity, and fraternity among peoples and nations worldwide.
With the Pope himself participating, the celebration is expected to attract young delegates from across the globe, promoting intercultural understanding and celebrating faith and humanity. The Pope’s participation in World Youth Day in Lisbon will add immense significance to the event, as thousands of young individuals, including Frederica and Emanuel, come together to celebrate their faith and share in a week of inspiring experiences, religious ceremonies, and moments of personal reflection.
As the two youths embark on this extraordinary journey, the Archdiocese of Honiara eagerly preparing an in-country WYD celebration at Christ the King Parish in Tetere, North East Guadalcanal from August 23rd to August 27th, 2023. With an expected of more than 2 thousand youths estimated to come from six parishes in the Archdiocese (Tanagai Parish, Holy Cross Parish, Kukum Parish, Good Shepherd Parish, Tetere Parish and Ruavatu Parish), this local celebration will provide an opportunity for young people in the Solomon Islands to share in the spirit of WYD to foster unity, faith and shared values among the young population of the Solomon Islands. It is known that the World Youth Day was first initiated by Pope John Paul II in 1985 and has since become a global event that nurtures faith, vocation, and transformation within the Catholic Church.
Inspired by the Light-Life Movement in Poland, World Youth Day aims to provide all participants with a universal Church experience, fostering a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, and igniting the flames of faith, hope, and charity within the host country community. As the anticipation for World Youth Day builds, Frederica and Emanuel’s representation of the Solomon Islands exemplifies the power of faith, determination, and inclusivity in uniting young people from all corners of the world. Their participation in this spiritually enriching event will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on their lives and inspire countless others in their community.
SI Catholic Church extend its warmest wishes to Frederica and Emanuel as they embark on this transformative journey, and we eagerly await their return to hear the inspiring stories they will carry back to the Solomon Islands. – END
Leotina Akwai, Catholic Communication Solomon