MANILA – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on Youth (CBCP-ECY) on Saturday urged the Philippine delegation to the World Youth Day in Portugal next month to take the opportunity to renew hope for the wounded world.

“WYD aims to bring the message of hope to many young people in a wounded world… where young people are losing hope,” Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon, head of the commission, said in an article posted on the CBCP website.

The Daet, Camarines Norte prelate said Filipino pilgrims would be able to share their faith and culture with other young Catholic faithful during the WYD in Lisbon from August 1 to 6.

“It’s an opportunity to encounter the Lord through other people, to share our faith and our culture, as well as to be enriched by the giftedness of others,” he said.

Hundreds of young Filipinos, including some bishops, are set to attend the gathering.

This year’s celebration carries the theme, “Mary arose and went with haste” (Luke 1:39).

As of June 30, organizers said more than 600,000 people have already registered for the event to meet and pray with Pope Francis.

Thousands of families have also volunteered to open their homes to pilgrims of the religious event.

Alarcon urged those who will not be able to physically attend the event in Lisbon, to be united spiritually with the pilgrims and follow the events online.

The first WYD was initiated by St. Pope John Paul II in 1985. The gathering usually attracts hundreds of thousands of young people around the world.

Held every three years, the latest WYD was in Panama in 2019. Because of the pandemic, the Vatican decided to move the 2022 Lisbon event to 2023. (PNA)