Calvalhos, Portugal. The Claretian Family’s first Claret Way World Youth Day (WYD) commenced on June 28, 2023. The event brought together 1400 young pilgrims from over 35 countries, accompanied by 100 Claretian missionaries and various other religious groups. The event, spearheaded by the Claretian Province of Fatima in collaboration with the eight branches of the Claretian Family, promises a unique experience of faith and communion.
Global Youth Network Unites Claretians Worldwide: This year’s WYD saw the Claret Way global youth network launch, a remarkable initiative connecting young Claretians worldwide. The network aims to integrate the youth of different realities within the Claretian Family, offering experiences and spaces of communion in the universal mission of the Church under the Claretian charism, following in the footsteps of Jesus.
Welcoming Pilgrims from Diverse Backgrounds: As young pilgrims arrived in Calvalhos, they were greeted with various activities and spaces for engagement. The event featured a streaming connection area, where interviews with pilgrims, organizers, and music group members were conducted and streamed on YouTube, allowing participants to share their stories and experiences.
Celebrating Faith through Art and Music: Throughout the afternoon, pilgrims enjoyed concerts at the “Space Arts of the World.” In this space, attendees praised and thanked God through various artistic expressions, reflecting the rich cultural diversity of the Claretian Family’s branches.
Spaces for Reflection and Encounter: The event provided ample spiritual reflection and communion opportunities. The “Tent of Encounter” offered a peaceful sanctuary for pilgrims to pray in silence and contemplation. The “Walk of Fame” showcased the founders and influential figures of the different Claretian Family branches, providing valuable insights into their origins and contributions.
Creating Lasting Memories: Pilgrims were encouraged to capture their experiences in the “Space Say Cheese,” a designated area for taking photos and videos to immortalize their journey and interactions with fellow pilgrims. Additionally, the “Interactive Museum of the WYD in Claretian Family” showcased the history and evolution of the WYD celebration within the Claretian Family.
Missionary Bar and Camaraderie: The “Missionary Bar” offered a much-needed respite for pilgrims to rest, enjoy refreshments, and bond with fellow travelers. This relaxed atmosphere encouraged the formation of new friendships across different nationalities and cultures.
The inaugural Claret Way World Youth Day was a resounding success, drawing young Claretians worldwide to celebrate their faith and Claretian charism. As the WYD festivities continue in Lisbon, Portugal, the Claretian Family remains united in their commitment to the universal mission and communal spirit.