Planned Mozambican Version of World Youth Day to Prepare Youth for Lisbon 2023

Archbishop Inácio Saúre with Catholic youth in Nampula Archdiocese. Credit: Nampula Archdiocese

The Mozambican version of World Youth Day (WYD) scheduled for November aims at preparing young people in the Southern African nation to participate in the one to be held in Lisbon in 2023, a Catholic Archbishop in the country has said.

In a Tuesday, June 14 Vatican News report, Archbishop Inácio Saúre of Nampula Archdiocese speaks about the four-day event that his Metropolitan See is to host from November 17 under the theme, “We have found the Messiah” (Jn 1:41).

“The national youth gathering will be used as an opportune moment to prepare Mozambican youth for the great event of World Youth Day - Lisbon 2023,” Archbishop Saúre has been quoted as saying in the report.

The Mozambican Archbishop says preparations for the national event involving the youth, the second one in the country, began “immediately after the Archbishop of Lisbon in Portugal, Cardinal Manuel Clemente, reached out to the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique with an invitation.”

“Cardinal Clemente encouraged the Mozambican Church to prepare the youth to participate in the Lisbon WYD 2023 since it is also the desire of the Holy Father that there be many young Portuguese-speakers at the WYD events,” Archbishop Saúre is quoted as saying.


The Local Ordinary of Nampula Archdiocese who doubles as the President of the Commission for youth pastoral ministry of the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique (CEM) further says that plans are underway for the youth from Mozambique to travel to Lisbon for the 2023 WYD.

Those organizing the youth who will travel to Lisbon “are already processing information about requirements for participation, such as registration, visas and information about the possibility of those young people who want to go a little earlier for Mission Week, which always precedes WYD,” Archbishop Saúre says.

He recalls that the “Mozambican WYD has had to be postponed twice because of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021.”

“When the event was initially planned, more than five thousand young pilgrims were expected to attend,” he says, and continues, “At the moment, organizers are still assessing and remain hopeful.”

The 52-year-old member of the Consolata Missionaries says, “If the situation of the pandemic improves, they would like to open the event to more participants.”

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“The young people are very enthusiastic, very interested, and in the meantime, our preparations continue,” Archbishop Saúre says in the June 14 report.

He recalled previous youth gathering in a Mozambican Diocese saying, “The Chimoio event allowed us to begin these kinds of youth gatherings, despite initial hesitation, difficulties and wondering if we would be able to manage them.”

“We saw that it was possible to carry out and successfully carry out these kinds of gatherings. The young people and the entire ecclesiastical province of Nampula welcomed the challenge of organizing what will be the second national WYD in Mozambique,” the Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in Mozambique’s Tete Diocese in May 2011 says.

He further says the Mozambican version of WYD scheduled for November 17-20 “will undoubtedly be an occasion for young people to prepare themselves in the best possible way for the World Youth Day of Lisbon 2023.”

In the June 14 report, Archbishop Saúre also speaks about the climate of “great hope” among the country’s young people.


“The Mozambican Church is young because the Mozambican population is mostly composed of young persons,” he says, and adds, “The young Christians of Mozambique are well represented in the life of the Church. For now, the Church is not really worried about the absence of young people in the Church because they are there and participate effectively.”

The greatest challenge, the Mozambican Archbishop says, is that “the local Church has yet to outline a comprehensive pastoral program to accompany young people.”

“The young people of this country are thirsting for God. We see youth who care about the Church and want to live as full members of the Church,” Archbishop Saúre is quoted as saying, and adds, “We also know that our young people have many hurdles and challenges in terms of formation and education.”

Young people in Mozambique, Archbishop Saúre says, “need accompaniment to achieve their aspirations. Part of that accompaniment needs to be spiritual accompaniment.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.