An 11-person delegation from Pakistan is participating in next week’s World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, July 25 to 31. The group headed by Archbishop Sebastian Shaw of Lahore is leaving on Sunday. The delegation includes Pervez Roderick, secretary of the National Association of Catholic Youth, four priests and five youth leaders. Roderick told AsiaNews that one of the boys will be holding the Pakistani flag at opening ceremony, another will share the experience of being a youth in Pakistan during a session, while a priest from Faisalabad diocese will be one of those concelebrating at the Pope’s concluding mass. The Pope is joining the World Youth Day July 27-31.
“I am ready for a new experience of life and excited to meet pilgrims and new friends from all over the world,” said Viviana Natalie Rodrigues, a leader of a youth group at Karachi’s St Lawrence Church, who is participating in a World Youth Day celebration for the first time. The 26-year-old free-lance journalist is gathering material for a report on her pilgrimage to Krakow. Another youth leader, 25-year old Zeeshan Bais from St John Church in Larkhana, Hyderabad Diocese, said he is excited to meet the Pope. Both Bais and Rodriguez will be waiting for the Pope at one of the Stations of the Cross on July 29.
Meanwhile, Archbishop Joseph Arshad of Faisalabad is planning to launch a year-long pilgrimage of the cross for youth to mark WYD in each of his 23 parishes. “Today’s youth must become irresistible bearer of the Cross in order to uphold the Catholic teachings in the world against the current problems of materialism, extreme ideologies, militant tendencies, faithlessness, pornography and negative broadcasts by electronic-print media and social media,” the archbishop said. (Source: AsiaNews)