World Youth Day 2019 – Panama

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img_8987Follow the adventures of parish catechist, Natalie, and parishioner Kevin, as they travel to Panama city for World Youth Day 2019. The group from Dublin Diocese will be in Panama from 18th to 30th January. Please keep the group in your prayers and any updates during the trip will be posted below.

 

 

19th January 2019

We have arrived to Panama & the weather is ever so slightly hot! The journey was quite long but excitement & spirits were high. We had the most amazing reception at our host parish which included food, music, dancing & fireworks – the Panamanians know how to host a party! We were paired off with our host families and got to put the head down. Today, 19th January, Kevin headed to the Care for Our Common Home Congress, while Natalie was looking busy collecting pilgrim packs. We had a walk of the city & dinner together in the parish before Mass & bed.

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Monday 21st January

Greetings from Panama! We’ve had a very busy few days. We had Mass in the parish yesterday & it was ever so slightly different to what we would get in Ireland! We had a traditional dance performance during Mass & dinner with everyone in the parish and all the nationalities. The Irish consulate in Panama joined us & we had a free afternoon & time for the festival. Today, we were joined by Bishop Donal McKeown & had a Mercy day working with Aid to the Church in need & the group split into 3 groups to do visitation to the sick, play sports with the local children & visit food to those that have none. We debriefed & shared what that experience was like. It was free time & enjoy the festival. The official programme for World Youth Day kicks off tomorrow. Stay tuned for more updates after the opening ceremony tomorrow!

 

Thursday 24th January

Greetings from Panama. We’re just about to start into all the Papal events. Keeping you all in prayer. Watch our short video below:

 

Sunday 27th January

After serious blistering heat, we made it out & back to all the Papal events. It was a struggle but it was worth it. We managed to have amazing vantage points for all events. The vigil was a noisy, spectacular festival, and while insect repellent was the main order of the day, it was an experience that can’t be put into words. This evening, tiredness it at a serious high & we’re taking it easy before a debrief & sharing in the morning. We’ll reflect on the catechesis sessions, opening Mass, welcome of Pope Francis, Way of the Cross, Vigil & Papal Mass – a lot to pack into a few days! We also need to plan for Portugal…. 😊 PS did you see us on RTÉ this morning?!??

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Tuesday 29th January

Today, some of the pilgrims went to see the famous Panama Canal & now we’re spending our last night enjoying the last drop of Panama. We take flight tomorrow & travel a long 24 hours (or maybe 30, I’m not sure with various time differences!) and land Thursday. Myself & Kevin have really been lifted with the support from you all over the last 12 days & we can’t wait to share the experience with you as we Dared to Say Yes to World Youth Day, Panama… Hasta Mañana!

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