Kenyans’ Preparations for World Youth Day in Portugal in “top gear”: National Chaplain

Fr. Cosmas Mwova (left) while attending WYD 2023 International Preparatory Committee meeting in Lisbon, last year. Credit: Fr. Mwova.

The preparations for Kenyan youth to participate in the World Youth Day (WYD) 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal, in August are in “top gear”, the National Youth Chaplain of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has said.

In a Tuesday, June 13 interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Cosmas Mwova said that the delegation from Kenya that will participate in the August 1-6 event comprises 29 youth, two Bishops, eight Priests, and two women Religious.

“We are in top gear in preparing for this group,” Fr. Mwova said about the Kenyan delegation to the WYD 2023, including Bishop Joseph Maluki Mwongela of Kitui Diocese who chairs KCCB’s Department of Pastoral and Lay Apostolate, and his counterpart of Catholic Education, Bishop Paul Kariuki Njiru of Embu Diocese.

All the members of the Kenyan delegation, the member of the Clergy of Kenya’s Machakos Diocese said, “have already handed in their traveling documents and we have closed the registration program.”

The 41 Catholic delegates have acquired their respective passports, applied for visas, and are awaiting interviews. 


Priest said the registered youths already have their passports and are waiting for their visa interviews, he said about the youth delegation consisting of 16 male and 25 female, adding that as part of the preparations, five meetings have been scheduled ahead of the Portugal trip, four of them virtual, and one in-person.

“The meetings are meant to equip the participants with some information and training on how to conduct themselves, and how to participate in the event as a Kenyan group,” Fr. Mwova told ACI Africa during the June 13 interview. 

Fr. Cosmas Mwova, (second from right), with some of the WYD 2023 International Preparatory Committee members in Lisbon, Portugal. Credit: Fr. Mwova.

He went on to recall the last WYD saying the delegation to Portugal has been revised upwards, considering that the 2019 WYD in Panama in the U.S. had a delegation of 22 youth, one Bishop, and four Priests.

Majority of the Kenyan youth in the WYD 2023 hail from the Archdiocese of Nairobi, followed by Machakos, Kitui, and then Marsabit Dioceses, the National Catholic Youth Chaplain in Kenya who has served in that capacity since 2017 said. 

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He added that the participation of Kenyan Catholic youth in WYD 2023 has a deep meaning for them as they will have an opportunity to interact with the Holy Father who will expound on the theme, “Mary Arose and Went with Haste”.

Fr. Mwova added in reference to the delegation of 29 youth from Kenya, “Through their exposure and experiences following the participation, we expect the youth to come back energized” and equipped with some “best tools for evangelization”.

“On coming back, I am sure they will be the best ambassadors of the Catholic Church (youth) ministry,” the National Catholic Youth Chaplain in Kenya told ACI Africa on June 13.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.