World Youth Day Panama 2019
A final reflection on WYD Panama '19 by Fr Reynold Jaboneta
Transformation - by Deacon Josh Clayton
When I am asked to deliver training or a reflection, people often say, you don’t need to write something, just use what you have used before. That statement in itself is normal enough, but I struggle with it, mainly because when I go to use a previous presentation I find it difficult to work with and to be really honest, I struggle to believe that what I wrote before is what I believed and wanted to share... Sometimes it looks so immature and basic!
Change results in us thinking and behaving in new ways, our pilgrimage has done this. Like any experience we have, it changes us. It makes us new and makes some of our previously held ideas not seem the same anymore.
After a big couple of days, including the vigil and the final Mass, our pilgrimage group gathered to share some of our experiences of WYD. Stories were told of the generosity of others, the struggles, the joy of encountering so many Catholic youths and, of course, deep and transformative encounters with a God who loves us and gives us all we need to be the joy-filled people we need to be.
We have been transformed by this encounter with Christ and the young church we belong.
Pope Francis told the gathered people at the final Mass that they are the Church of Now. Not the future - now. What does that mean for us as a pilgrimage group? It means we have to take the transformation we have experienced and allow it to shape our future and the future of those around us. We have been changed, we have been renewed and to not act on this would be to deny the work Christ has commenced in us.
I struggle using old material because I change, we all change. Sometimes we need to be willing to take a risk and go on pilgrimage. We never know the gifts we may be given.
Final Mass - Our pilgrims have been part of the final Mass in Panama for WYD. It was an amazing grace-filled moment and we look forward to coming home to share our amazing WYD experience!
Day 4 of WYD in Panama - journey to our Catechesis and time as the truly Universal Church!
Day 3 of WYD in Panama - The Pope has arrived in Panama!
Day 2 of WYD in Panama - Catechesis
Bishop McKenna was invited to lead a catechisis at Balboa Union Church. The Bishop spoke on the theme: “Here I am Lord”.
Day 1 of WYD in Panama - Opening Day in Panama!
First Full day in Panama. Opening Mass overlooking the water and also many happy joyful faces...World Youth Day has started! Aussie gathering and some even got to see the WYD Cross and icon close up!
The Official WYD Facebook page offers some live feeds
during WYD -HERE
WYD day 8 update: Today we farewelled the St Euphrasia Parish. Our hearts are full from the love shown to us over this last week. Thank you Mgr James and the entire St Euphrasia community. We presented the St. Euphrasia Community with the Icon of Our Lady of the Central West.
WYD day 6 update: Our group was lucky to visit the University of Southern California Catholic Chaplaincy today, the Caruso Catholic Centre, where we celebrated Mass and heard of the great work of outreach to the campus. Some of the group also visited Universal Studios.
WYD update day 5: Our time was spent with the youth of the St Euphrasia parish. We visited the school and gained a real insight into the life in this vibrant community. The evening was capped off with an improv comedian and for some a time with the parish advisory council. Truly a blessed day
WYD Reflection - Fr Reynold: Even if I am the Assistant Vocations Director of the Diocese I rarely got a chance to be with our seminarians. Towards the end of the year and early this year I was fortunate to have some of them at Coonabarabran. Today, our seminarian Thao shared with me how this pilgrimage is a learning curve for him. It is teaching him how to be patient. It is teaching him how to deal and work with a group. I started my journey as well with World Youth Day for the Diocese as a seminarian in Madrid, Spain and a newly ordained priest in Brazil for another World Youth Day. Now six years into the priesthood it is my time to listen to our seminarians as they take a pilgrimage to speak in the path of priesthood.
To learn how to be patient and to work well with a group are for me what our readings of today are about and worth pondering. In the language of the letter to the Hebrews to be completely like his brothers so that he could be compassionate. The healing narratives in our gospel speak of that compassion, too. Yet that compassion to be effective with others needed to be rooted in deep prayer...to look for a place and be absorbed in prayer.
What overwhelms us so far today, what plans we have so far imagined to do, invite us to connect everything in prayer, fruit of our prayer, because prayer is a journey with God who is God of compassion. Prayer is a wellspring of love promoting only love and building with love. Prayer is everything we do particularly as it expresses the goodness and the mercy of God. In this pilgrimage be sanctuaries of deep prayer. Amen 🙏 -Fr Reynold
WDY Day 4: visit to Santa Barbara.
WYD update Day 2: Today we visited the San Fernando Mission, we heard of the hard work and impact of the padres who came to California to work to help others know God. We also visited the Bishop Alemany High School and were lucky enough to have a guided tour of the campus. And it didn’t stop raining all day! Our day concluded with Mass and a time of sharing about our experiences of our time of pilgrimage to date.
WYD update Day 1 - St Euphrasia Parish Granada Hills, California: After a long trip we arrived at the Parish of St Euphrasia. We were welcomed with open arms, with an American Breakfast in the parish hall and lots of happy welcoming people who helped us forget how tired we were. We were introduced to our homestays and had some to time with them to rest and recover before we gathered for the evening Mass with the youth of the Parish.
Fr Jim welcomed us all so beautifully, giving all a blessing at the end of Mass, including the St Euphrasia parish delegates for WYD. We are blessed to be in such a welcoming community, who have shown us the true meaning of welcome and the worldwide Church we are all part of.
Pilgrims from the Diocese of Bathurst have arrived in Los Angeles, on the first leg of their pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2019, in Panama and Bishop McKenna leaves today to join them. The theme for this WYD is “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your Word” Luke 1:38
Around 1,000 young Australians are expected in Panama. The Bathurst group includes 33 young people, including some from Mt Isa and Toowoomba. Our pilgrims will be accompanied by the Bishop, Fr Reynold Jaboneta - Parish Priest of Coonabarabran and Coonamble, Deacon Josh Clayton and Seminarians Diep Nguyen and Thao Nguyen.
In preparation for Panama, the pilgrims will spend time in Los Angeles, where the local church will welcome them to experience how young Catholics there are participating in works of service.
From there, they go to Panama City for the events of WYD, culminating in the arrival of Pope Francis. Bishop Michael has been appointed as one of the bishops who will give English language catechesis and celebrate Mass with youth from all over the world.
Bishop McKenna has been invited by Cardinal Kevin Farrell - Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life - to serve as a Catechist on 24th January. The Bishop will talk to the young people attending WYD on the theme 'I am the servant of the Lord". Afterwards, he will preside and preach at Mass.
Please pray for the pilgrims that their journey will be safe; and that they may return with the fruits that God wants.
Regular updates from our pilgrims will be posted on this web page and via the RISE Facebook page.
Official Prayer for WYD Panamá 2019
You call us to live our lives as a way of salvation. Help us to recall the past with gratitude, to embrace the present with courage and to build the future with hope.
Lord Jesus, our friend and brother, thank you for looking upon us with love. Let us listen to your voice as it resonates in the hearts of each one with the strength and light of the Holy Spirit.
Grant us the grace of being a Church that goes forth with vibrant faith and a youthful face to communicate the joy of the Gospel. May we help to build up the kind of society we long for, one where there is fairness and fellowship.
We pray for the Pope and the bishops; for young people; for all those who will take part in World Youth Day in Panama and for those who are preparing to welcome them.
Our Lady of Antigua, Patroness of Panama, help us to pray and live with generosity like yours: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).
A little about Panama:
Panama is bounded by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Panama City’s unique location has made it a hub of trade and immigration and is well known for the Panama Canal. Panama has a tropical climate. WYD'19 will be held during January, which is in the middle of Panama's dry season. Low temperatures in the evening average 24°C and reach an average high of 29°C during the day.
Diocese of Bathurst WYD'19 Pilgrimage to Panama
The Journey begins now!
13 - 20 January 2019 - Immersion experience in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, CA
21 - 30 January 2019 - WYD Week in Panama
31 January 2019 - Rest and relaxation in Orange County, CA
2 February 2019 - Arrive in Australia