With a synodal youth… There is hope!

10.12.2020 From Panama to Lisbon (18-21 November 2020 online). The experience of Fran Ramirez, Youth Responsible ACG (Acción Católica General) Spain

Dear friends,
Fran and Luisa represented us at the meeting promoted by the DLFV Youth Section from 18 to 21 November us “From Panama to Lisbon — Called to missionary synodality International online meeting towards the next WYD “.

The logo of WYD in Lisbon, where young Portuguese people are waiting for us in 2023, was officially presented.  Fran tells us about her experience, thank you!

The young people of AC have always participated in WYD in the company of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati at the level of the universal Church and in the local churches where they live every day in the parish.

 We welcome with joy and responsibility the words that Pope Francis addressed to all of us on November 22nd, walking together towards WYD in Lisbon in 2023 and the next WYDs in our local Churches: from 2021 we will live it on the Solemnity of Christ the King.


Pope FrancisAt the end of this Eucharistic celebration, I cordially greet all of you present and all those who join us through the media. A special greeting goes to the Panamanian and Portuguese young people, represented by the two delegations that will shortly take part in the significant ceremony of the passage of the Cross and the icon of Our Lady Salus Populi Romani, the symbols of the World Youth Days. This is an important step in the pilgrimage that will lead us to Lisbon in 2023.

And as we prepare for the next intercontinental edition of WYD, I would also like to renew its celebration in the local Churches. Thirty-five years after the establishment of WYD, after listening to various opinions and consulting the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, which is responsible for youth ministry, I have decided, beginning next year, to transfer the diocesan celebration of WYD from Palm Sunday to Christ the King Sunday. The centre of the celebration remains the Mystery of Jesus Christ the Redeemer of Man, as Saint John Paul II, the initiator and patron of WYD, always emphasized.

Dear young people, cry out with your life that Christ lives, that Christ reigns, that Christ is the Lord! If you keep silent, I tell you the very stones will cry out! (cf. Lk 19:40).

Luisa Alfarano – Michele Tridente
Responsibles IFCA Youth Coordination 

The experience of Fran Ramirez, responsible for the Youth Sector of General Catholic Action (SPAIN), after his participation in the meeting “From Panama to Lisbon” of the Dicastery for Laity (18-21 November 2020)

If young people live their faith with passion, enthusiasm and a desire to evangelize, our society will change radically.

And if we add to this the fact that it is done in a perspective of dialogue, with a participatory and synodal character that emphasizes listening rather than closed and old postulates, the heart of the Church itself will be transformed and all Christians will live a new springtime full of light and grace.

This desire that was born, from the depths of my being, as a lay Christian, was gradually encouraging and filled with hope when I listened to the persons responsible for young people from the various countries participating in the meeting, which I was able to attend, on 18-21 November, convened by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, in particular by the Youth Secretariat in Rome, coordinated by Father Joao Chagas.

FIAC (International Forum of Catholic Action) has appointed me to represent it together with Luisa Alfarano, the responsible of FIAC Youth Coordination.

It was an unforgettable experience, full of insights, proposals and new challenges to continue working in the service of young people.

The meeting had a simple outline: a first part where, in the plenary session, we were informed, proposing an open dialogue, on the topics dealt with, and a second part where, in language groups, we shared reflections, initiatives, motivations and dreams to make our church an ever more lively place.

The fundamental lines of the different sessions were the review, in a constructive spirit, of what was experienced and happened at the last WYD in Panama in January 2019, (I had the joy of sharing my experience with my brother and sister: Jorge and Emanuela), proposing new lines on the synodal work in youth ministry, keeping on the horizon the proposals to be made for the next WYD which will be held in Lisbon in 2023.

They were intense work sessions in which young people intervened with absolute freedom, full of ideas, initiatives and experiences to formulate an ever better proposal to young people by the Church in each of the areas dealt with.

The participants of the meeting, when they took the floor, always did so in a constructive and fraternal spirit, based on listening, reflection and love; having clear the common goal that unites us all.

Among the countless ideas that have built up during the meeting, I would like to highlight the answers to two questions that I consider fundamental for youth ministry:

What do we need to make WYD a more lively meeting and a concrete proposal for ALL young people in the world?
To strengthen the participation of all the realities of youth ministry in the construction and preparation of this world meeting, and to transmit, especially to the young participants, what Francis proposes in Christus vivit: Christ is light, he wants young people to live and he wants them to transmit this life.

How can we build a more synodal church?
By being young people who listen and make proposals. We must begin to make this Synodality a concrete and fulfilled life, implanting it into our daily pastoral activities by our life team and by our parish.

We must never forget that Christ teaches us that “the whole is more important than the individual parts”. Let us walk together as one Church!

I am a humble Christian from a simple and small parish in La Mancha, Toledo (Spain), the mere fact that I have been thought of to represent the young people of FIAC in this kind of forum fills me with gratitude, pride and enormous joy.

This experience encourages me, for all that I have lived and heard in this meeting, to continue my commitment to young people, to make possible spaces where their voice can be heard in the different pastoral bodies in the heart of communities, parishes, dioceses, etc., and to continue to collaborate with them in building a more evangelising, younger and more vibrant church. An open Church, full of hope and love.

It has been an undeserved gift that urges me to continue to say that it is worth spending our lives for young people and for the Good News of Jesus!
Let us go on! The adventure continues…

A hug for everyone, and… THANKS

Fran Ramírez
Responsible for the Youth Sector of General Catholic Action (SPAIN),

Welcame to Lisbon 2023 -Agenda (pdf)

10.12.2020 From Panama to Lisbon (18-21 November 2020 online). The experience of Fran Ramirez, Youth Responsible ACG (Acción Católica General) Spain