Perth youth to come together ahead of World Youth Day

29 Jun 2023

By The Record

World Youth Day Commissioning Mass 2023
Perth youth gathered outside St Mary’s Cathedral with Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB ahead of World Youth Day 2019 in Panama. Photo: Ron Tan/Archdiocese of Perth.

Perth youth attending World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal, are being invited to come together next Sunday 9 July at 11am at St Mary’s Cathedral.

The youth will be commissioned by Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB ahead of the World Youth Day where an expected 1.5 million young Catholics will descend on the capital city of Portugal for World Youth Day.

In a statement on 22 May Matteo Bruni, Director of the Holy See Press Office, confirmed that the Holy Father Pope Francis will travel to Lisbon from 2 to 6 August and will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima on 5 August.

The University of Notre Dame Australia is delighted to announce that 35 of its students, along with nine students from Australian Catholic University (ACU), will embark on a transformative spiritual journey to Lisbon, Portugal for World Youth Day 2023.

Nursing student Shanara Wijethunga is heading to Lisbon, Portugal, for World Youth Day. Perth youth are being invited to come together Sunday 9 July to be commissioned by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB. Photo: Supplied/Notre Dame.

This pilgrimage marks an important milestone in Notre Dame’s commitment to engage in the worldwide network of Catholics and provide its students with an extraordinary opportunity to be part of a global celebration of faith.

World Youth Day is a joyous event that brings together young people from across the globe for a festive commemoration of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

The theme of this Notre Dame-led pilgrimage, ‘Saints, Scholars and Notre Dame’, reflects Notre Dame’s mission to embrace the rich heritage of our faith while nurturing the intellectual growth of our students.

The 22-day pilgrimage departs in late July and will take participants through Europe, retracing the footsteps of early Saints and Scholars during which students will visit prominent contemporary Catholic university sites as well as historical locations in France and Spain, culminating in the vibrant city of Lisbon for what promises to be one of the largest World Youth Day celebrations.

Head of School, Philosophy & Theology, Professor Renee Kohler-Ryan, said the pilgrimage offered an unparalleled opportunity for students to experience the relationship between faith, reason and culture first-hand.

“Students will integrate their spiritual and academic appreciation of what it means to be Catholic, getting to know saints and scholars across France, Spain and Portugal,” Professor Kohler-Ryan said.

“We will walk in their footsteps, praying where they prayed, thinking where they thought and forming relationships that will bring us more into the dialogue between faith and reason. Along the way, we will pick up the theme of World Youth Day seriously – ‘Mary arose and left with haste’.

“World Youth Day will connect students with the universal Church in its range of expressions. The

whole pilgrimage provides a transformative experience.”

UNDA Law student Peter Loreck is heading to Lisbon, Portugal, for World Youth Day. Perth youth are being invited to come together Sunday 9 July to be commissioned by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB. Photo: Supplied/Notre Dame.

Health Sciences student Shanara and Law student Peter said they were excited to see what the experience could do for their lives and their faith.

“Being able to go to Europe is amazing in itself,” Shanara said.

“I really want to thank Notre Dame for allowing me to go on this experience and have this amazing time that I’m so excited to be able to come back and tell everyone all about.”

“When I left high school I really found God,” Peter said.

“And I do my best to live for him, so sharing that with other people on this three-week pilgrimage is a special opportunity.

“It’s millions of people coming from all over the world. In Perth, we’re a little bit isolated, so just seeing the scope and the vastness of World Youth Day is going to be really humbling, in a good way.”

Notre Dame is committed to providing its students with holistic educational experiences that encompass spiritual growth and intellectual development.

By participating in World Youth Day 2023, our students will become part of a vibrant global community, strengthening their faith, and forging lifelong connections.

Youth play the drums during World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne, Germany. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.