Words of the Archbishop of Panama, Jose Domingo Ulloa Mendieta at the press conference announcing the date of WYD 2019.
We would like to reiterate our gratitude to Pope Francis in choosing Panama to host World Youth Day (WYD) in 2019, with the motto: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38)
In order to establish the date for WYD many options have been considered. In the end, climatic reasons have prevailed in the decision. We are well aware that in some countries those dates do not fall in vacation time, but we are convinced that this fact will not prevent thousands of young people from other continents from coming to Panama for an encounter with Jesus Christ, holding the hand of our Mother the Virgin Mary and with the Successor of Peter.
The chosen date is January 22 to 27, 2019, in the middle of our summer season that will guarantee the best climatic conditions in the region for this world event for young people.
Dear young people from all continents: you are the protagonists of this World Youth Day. We know that when you set goals, and especially if they have to do with your faith, you are creative and adapt to realities in order to achieve them.
Panama is waiting for you with our hearts and arms open to share our faith, to feel part of the Church, each one contributing our ethnic and cultural wealth in this great spiritual festival where we will show the world the young face of a Catholic Church on the move, ready to “make a mess”, to announce the joy of the gospel to those who are far away, to the excluded, to those who are to be found in the existential and geographical peripheries.
We pray and we will work so that World Youth Day may be a new “sending out” for the Catholic Church and the whole world.