Catholic Parishes in Southern Africa Urged to Fund Young People's World Youth Day Trip

Logo 2023 World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon, Portugal. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The chairperson of the Inter-diocesan Youth Committee of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) is encouraging members of Catholic Parishes in Botswana, Eswatini, and South Africa to offer financial support to young people who would like to participate in the 2023 World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon, Portugal.

In an interview with ACI Africa, Gladness Lobina Mashubuka encouraged young people to register early for the 2023 WYD in Lisbon, as some packages offer discounts of 10 percent and 5 percent, depending on how early one registers.

“As young people we should make means to go and attend the event. I would also like to encourage Parishes to please help and support youth financially, so that young people are able to attend this youth pilgrimage. I personally have started with some fundraising,” said Ms. Mashubuka during the Tuesday, October 25 interview.

She added, “Young people also need to do something for others to be able to assist them.  If a Parish can sponsor just one person or even two, it would be great. If you register before December, you'll get a 10 percent discount, and if you register before March, you'll get a 5 percent discount.”

Although Dioceses are struggling to cope financially due to the high cost of living, “Young people are responding positively even though the challenge has been the finances involved around the World Youth Day because the prices are a bit steep,” Ms. Mashubuka told ACI Africa. 


She added, “We are looking at a minimum of about R33,000 (US$1,830.00) and a maximum of about R45,000 (US$2,500.00) per person, so that on its own is a bit steep. But we are hoping that young people might be encouraged enough and attend this pilgrimage.”

The SACBC Inter-diocesan Youth Committee Chairperson who has just returned from Portugal where she attended the WYD Lisbon 2023 preparative meeting held in Fatima from October 16-19, is encouraging young people in the three member countries to attend the WYD 2023 as “it's not just an event, but it's a pilgrimage.”

“It's a pilgrimage whereby each and every participant is invited to build bridges. As we gather at the world youth day, we will be building bridges as nations and between nations and cultures. I think it’s beautiful that as young people we take our different cultures to World Youth Day, and to meet and interact with different people with different cultures,” she said.

In the October 25 interview, the South African member of the North Eastern Deanery Catholic Youth Ministry also called on youth and young adults to attend the Sunday, November 20 Diocesan celebration of WYD on the feast day of Christ the King.

“As we are heading to Christ the King in November, we are sending prayer kits to Parishes because we will be celebrating it in our parishes. We want to encourage young people to celebrate the day at Parish level, not only at Diocesan level,” said Ms. Mashubuka.

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She added, “This celebration is also in preparation for the 2023 world youth day under the theme, ‘Mary arose and went with haste’. The WYD celebration on the feast day of Christ the King is also an opportunity to prepare spiritually for next year’s World Youth Day.”

Sheila Pires is a veteran radio and television Mozambican journalist based in South Africa. She studied communications at the University of South Africa. She is passionate about writing on the works of the Church through Catholic journalism.