World Youth Day 2016 promises to be memorable as PCJ prepares to send 12 of its youth parishioners as delegates to Krakow, Poland on July 25 to August 1, 2016. The PCJ delegates, ranging from 17 to 34 years old, belong to different ministries under the PCJ Commission on Youth, with most of them having been active church servants for several years. These include youth from the Ministry of Altar Servers, Youth BEC and Community Youth Builders, Ministry of Lectors and Commentators, and the Ministry of San-Loob.
The young parishioners will be part of the delegates of the the Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY), the coordinating and policy-making body of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). The ECY-Philippines is the CBCP-ECY’s official delegation to the World Youth Day events.
World Youth Day 2016 will have the theme “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Mt 5:7), in continuation of Pope Francis’ encouragement of the youth to use the Beatitudes as a guide in their daily lives. With this theme, the Krakow 2016 World Youth Day forms part of the Holy Year of Mercy.
Preparation for this momentous event included attending an orientation prepared by ECY Philippines, as well as getting all necessary documents ready as early as December 2015. As part of their spiritual preparation, delegates are required to attend the monthly recollections lined up for them before their departure. They are also encouraged to actively participate in the different Commission on Youth ministries and activities .
Financial assistance was extended towards some the delegates through the PCJ 2016 Desktop Calendar fund-raising activity, which was generously supported by parishioners.
Aside from the actual celebration of World Youth Day, the PCJ delegates will also take part in the week-long “Days of the Diocese.” To be held in the week preceding World Youth Day 2016, from the 19th to 25th of July, the Days in the Diocese offers opportunities for the pilgrims to be more familiar with the local church in Poland, the parishes and the people.
World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow will be the second World Youth Day in Poland. It will be held as tribute to Saint Pope John Paul II, who was canonized just last 27 April 2014, and his devotion to the Merciful Jesus (Divine Mercy devotion) based on Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska apparitions and message. The first World Youth Day in Poland was in Czestochowa from August 10-15, 1991.