Fr. Grozio Reflects On His Experience at World Youth Day

Father Stephen Grozio, CM,  the Visitor of the USA Eastern Province shares with us his letter to Confreres of his Province after the conclusion of the Vincentian Youth Meeting (EJV). It took place from January 18 to 20 in Panama prior to the World Youth Day (JMJ).  As has already been published on this site, our confrere Joe Fitzgerald play a major role and commended by name by the Pope.

January 29, 2019

Dear Confreres,

Although I was not able to stay in Panama and participate in all of the World Youth Day (WYD) events, the experience was impressive. From the moment one arrived in Panama, it was obvious that the entire country was filled with expectation and enthusiasm. Everyone you spoke with was excited by the Pope’s visit, and signs for JMJ 2019 (Jornada Mundial de Jovenes = WYD) were everywhere. Even businesses had signs in their windows, some indicating that they were sponsors or benefactors of the event.

As was mentioned in last week’s letter, St. Mary’s Parish was a registration center for some 4,000 pilgrims arriving for WYD. Special recognition must be given to the parishioners, who formed a well-trained and well-coordinated team of about 30-40 volunteers. They greeted everyone with warmth and joy, and competently solved every problem the pilgrims had. They worked long hours without complaining. On Monday night, after most of the volunteers had gone home, another busload of pilgrims arrived and the remaining volunteers stayed to help them until about 2:30 a.m. Their welcoming attitude, strong sense of mission, dedication to the task, competent preparation, and joyful spirit were evident in all of the volunteers for the WYD and contributed to the unity, joy, and faith shared by all.

Since Pope Francis did not arrive until Wednesday evening, Teodoro Justavino and I helped to staff the Vincentian Family exhibit at the Vocation Fair on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. It was an opportunity to meet many people and speak with them one-on-one. A few were seriously considering religious life. The fair was located in a large city park which was also the site for concerts, conversation, cultural exhibits, confessions, and Eucharistic Adoration. A special joy of being at the fair was bumping into youth who were at the Vincentian and Indigenous gatherings. They all felt welcome at our Vincentian Family exhibit, rightly so, since they are members.

On Wednesday evening, the confreres in Balboa watched the Pope’s motorcade on television, but the parish volunteers took a short walk to a nearby highway to see our Pontiff pass by. This was very important for them because, as a television commentator pointed out, this will be the only opportunity most of the Panamanian people will ever have to see the Pope.

The Pope’s visit was also having an effect on our confreres in Panama and on the pilgrims. One of the pilgrims from St. John’s University who attended the Vincentian WYD told me that she only knew the people there for two days, but she felt that they had been friends for a long time. A confrere from Panama admitted that he had not been enthused about the prospect of WYD, but after seeing how parishioners, especially the youth, were energized by the event, he was going to help them keep that “fire” alive and to encourage them to raise funds to send parish youth leaders to the next WYD. Another confrere, Teddy Rios, mentioned that several Protestant churches in the area had generously hosted pilgrims who had come to his parish. He envisions collaborating with those churches on future projects.

By leaving Panama on Thursday, I was able to join the confreres for Friday’s celebration of Foundation Day in the Shrine. Daughters of Charity, members of the Vincentian family, affiliates, and employees of CAMM joined with us in the Eucharist. Greg Cozzubbo presided and John Freund was the homilist. Afterwards, we all went downstairs for a light luncheon. Later that evening, we had a special Feast Day meal in the refectory. On these special occasions, the confreres from St. Catherine’s Infirmary come over and join the confreres at St. Vincent’s. It is one of the ways the house promotes community living.

Some final notes. Emmet Nolan wrote that preparations are going well for the interprovincial internal seminary in Guatemala. Please keep in touch with him and keep him in your prayers. Also, here is a link to a picture from the Pope’s luncheon with youth leaders on Friday. The young woman on his right is Emilda Santo Montezuma. She is a youth leader from St. Vincent’s Parish in Soloy and wearing the traditional garb of her indigenous people. Her presence at the luncheon is an important recognition of indigenous youth by the Pope. Also included in this Notebook are pictures and a summary of events from Joe Fitzgerald.

Your brother in St. Vincent,

Fr. Stephen M. Grozio, CM
Visitor of the USA Eastern Province

Eastern Province Confrere Helps Indigenous Youth Take Center Stage at WYD

“Taking charge of their roots”: Indigenous youth take center stage at World Youth Day

“Marginalized take center stage at World Youth Day 2019”, reads the title of one of many articles written in response to the active presence of indigenous youth at WYD Panama. It was not by chance that indigenous youth and the realities that indigenous peoples face became one of the central news items at WYD, and one mentioned repeatedly by Pope Francis.

With the above words, Fr. Joe Fitzgerald of the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission, offers an overview of the historic moment when indigenous youth responded to the question first raised by Pope Francis at the end of World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland. “What does it mean to have WYD in this ancestral land, in the midst of countries with a high percentage of indigenous populations?”

Emilda Santo Montezuma, a young woman from the San Vicente de Paul ngäbe mission parish in Soloy who spent the past year working full time as a coordinator of the indigenous youth gathering.  Emilda presented the Pope a Ngäbe Chief´s hat, which he then wore for the official photos.

[See photo gallery below See also  Catholic Philly Vincentians laid seeds of strong faith in Panama]

He continues his overview

It was rather the fruit of the arduous work of hundreds of indigenous youth determined to share with the world their faith in Christ from the richness of their cultures and worldviews, to show the “indigenous face of the Church” during WYD. More than just a novelty at WYD, the voice and visibility of indigenous youth, with their struggles, joys and talents, bring us closer to living a “new ecclesial Pentecost” by opening spaces for encounters with indigenous peoples (Aparecida 91), and invites all to learn from those “who have so much to relate and recall from their culture and vision of the world ” (Pope Francis to Panamanian authorities).

The Eastern Province can truly be proud of the behind the scenes ministry of Fr. Joe Fitzgerald, CM.  He shepherded his beloved youth in our mission in Soloy. For fourteen years since his ordination in 2005, he has dedicated his ministry to serving his people. For the past two years, he served as a guiding light via his role as Executive Secretary and National Coordinator of Indigenous Ministry, Panama

Such a momentous event cannot be grasped in soundbites. So he provides us and the world the following reflection in 4 parts.

A little background…
Indigenous youth in action…
Pope Francis responds…
The road ahead…

A little background… At the end of World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, the announcement by Pope Francis that Panama would be the next venue for WYD provoked the question in indigenous pastoral circles and among indigenous youth … “What does it mean to have WYD in this ancestral land, in the midst of countries with a high percentage of indigenous populations?” The question was transformed into commitment and a vision to show the “indigenous face” at one of the largest gatherings the Church celebrates. After a consultation process at various levels, the National Coordination of Indigenous Ministry, Panama (CONAPI) assumed the responsibility of implementing a plan with indigenous youth with three main thrusts, a) social and ecclesial inclusion, b) strengthening the leadership of indigenous Catholic youth and c) the promotion of awareness in the Church and society of the indigenous realities. Thanks to the financial support of ADVENIAT, the Vincentian Solidarity Office and the inscriptions of the pilgrims at the pre-WYD indigenous gathering, the project officially started in August 2017.

Indigenous youth in action… The tradition of having experiences the days before the WYD began several decades ago and includes “days in the dioceses”, meetings of congregations and movements. Most international pilgrims come to the host country to live the local culture and meet other young people who live the same charism. In this same spirit, the first World Indigenous Youth Gathering (EMJI for its initial in Spanish) was organized by young Panamanian indigenous, who became involved in social and ecclesial leadership processes.  They invited young indigenous people of the world to share their faith from their indigenous identities through prayer, art, dance, song, pilgrimages and moments of strong testimonies about the situations experienced by the indigenous communities of the various countries. The preparation incorporated the youth from around the world in processes of reflection on there “living memory” and the richness of their ancestral traditions as necessary elements for a viable future.  The various traditions and rituals, based on common sharing and harmony with Mother Earth, where celebrated during the EMJI, forming a symphony of cultures united in their common values. The EMJI took place in the community of Soloy (Saint Vicente de Paul Parish), indigenous Ngäbe lands, with the participation of 2,000 indigenous people, among them 400 pilgrims from 40 distinct indigenous peoples.

Pope Francis surprised the youth at the EMJI with a video message at the beginning of the gathering, encouraging them to deepen their reflection on the prepared topics; value the living memory of their peoples, live in harmony with our Common Home and commit themselves to the construction of the “other possible world”. The Pope ends the video with an affectionate expression in the Ngäbere language, ” Jatuaida jamäräkädre” (see you later, my family).

At the end of the EMJI, the young people wrote a strong and precise message for the world, which demands that governments “recognize and delineate indigenous territories, and provide an education that respects our peoples as distinct cultures, with their own riches and wisdom”. The message also calls on the Church to open “appropriate spaces to live our spiritualities, from our worldviews, inheritance of our ancestors, and respect for the particular theologies of our peoples, fruits of the synthesis between our ancestral faith and the fullness of our hope in the person of Jesus Christ. The time has come to live with joy the indigenous face of the Church!”

After the EMJI experience, the young indigenous Catholics migrated to Panama City for WYD with a defined mission: to share with the world the fruits of the EMJI, their faith, their struggles, and to show with joy the indigenous face of the Church. The Indigenous Village, a space in the Parque de la Juventud, served as a wonderful space for the indigenous pilgrims to share their testimonies, dances, songs and art with the other non-indigenous pilgrims, in addition to sharing the messages of the Pope and the EMJI, promoting awareness of the “indigenous cause”. More than 3,000 pilgrims visited the Indigenous Village during the four days of the activity.

In addition to the indigenous village, there were several other moments of promotion of the indigenous cause in the ambient of WYD, such as: a several day program where indigenous Guna youth shared their faith, challenges, as well as cultural expressions such as songs and dances with German pilgrims; a conference on “The Church and Indigenous Peoples” organized by the French Bishops Conference at a theater; a forum at the Museum of the Interoceanic Canal, which focused on the main challenges that indigenous people face in society and in the Church; a testimony given by an indigenous youth from the Amazon region of Brazil to hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from the main stage about the effects of climate change on the Amazon and the peoples who call it home.

Pope Francis responds… Perhaps what called most attention to the active presence of indigenous youth at WYD came from an unexpected place; Pope Francis´ repeated emphasis on the importance of the indigenous pre-gathering and the indigenous presence in the WYD.  As previous mentioned, the Pope surprised those gathering for the World Gathering of Indigenous Youth in Soloy with a video message that stressed the importance of “taking charge of your roots”.  He took up that theme on several occasions throughout his speeches and in more casual moments.  In his first public discourse, to Panamanian authorities, the Pope stated that the “The genius of these lands is marked by the richness of its indigenous peoples”, naming each of the seven indigenous peoples.  He then shared his enthusiasm for the celebration of the EMJI in Soloy, stating that “it does not stop being a hopeful sign that this World Youth Day had begun a week ago with the Gathering of Indigenous Youth… I greet you from here and I thank you for taking this first step of World Youth Day.”

During his meeting with the Conference of Central American Bishops, Francis spoke of the importance that “none of the good that God has planted will languish”, that “caring for these roots means caring for the rich historical, cultural and spiritual heritage that this land has for centuries been able to harmonize”.  He connected the theme of caring for the “seeds of the Kingdom” that God has planted to the celebration of EMJI, saying “I congratulate you for the initiative that this World Youth Day has begun with the Indigenous Youth (Gathering) in David. It is a first step to show the plurifacetism of our peoples.” Acknowledging the reality of indigenous peoples during Stations of the Cross, the Pope said that the passion of Christ “is prolonged in the original peoples, who are stripped of their lands, their roots and their culture, silencing and extinguishing all the wisdom they have and can provide us.”

Perhaps the most emotional words of the Pope in reference to the indigenous youth gathering and their active presence in WYD were the simplest. During the first large gathering of the world´s youth with the Pope for the opening ceremony, he said, “I am thinking of you, starting to walk first in this journey, the indigenous youth. They were the first in America and the first to walk in this encounter. ¡A big round of applause!”  In later reflection, this was singled out as a pivotal moment by the indigenous youth, who were overcome with emotion that the Pope would speak so directly to them and invite everyone to acknowledge their presence and participation. It marked a “we are truly here” moment, a “we are a vital part of this” feeling amongst the indigenous youth.

In a more personal and intimate moment, the Pope had lunch with ten young people, representative of the world´s youth, where they were invited to share their concerns and hopes. One of the ten was Emilda Santo Montezuma, a young woman from the San Vicente de Paul ngäbe mission parish in Soloy who spent the past year working full time as a coordinator of the indigenous youth gathering.  Emilda was invited to represent the world´s indigenous youth at the lunch.  She presented the Pope a Ngäbe Chief´s hat, which he then wore for the official photos. She also gave him a copy of the “Message from the World Indigenous Youth Gathering” and spoke of the urgent need of the Church to accompany indigenous peoples in their struggle for dignity and land rights.  At the Pope´s final meal with local bishops before heading back to Rome, he spoke about Emilda and how impressed he was with her enthusiasm in speaking of the indigenous face of the Church and the rights of indigenous people in society, highlighting in particular her concern for the situation of particular Amazonian peoples of Brazil who are facing genocide due to government-backed extensive ecological destruction.

After his return to Rome, in his reflection about the experience in Panama, the Pope used the process of the indigenous youth meeting in Soloy and the posterior arrival of the world´s diverse youth for WYD as a prophetic sign of the hope that shows the “beauty of the multiform face of the Church”, and that with “their desire to meet they have given the world a true testimony of peace”.  He stated that the indigenous youth gathering in Soloy was a “beautiful gesture”, and “import initiative which demonstrated even better the diversified face of the Church in Latin America.” He continues…

Then, with the arrival of groups from all over the world, a great symphony of faces and languages was formed, as is typical of this event. Seeing all the flags displayed together, waving in the hands of young people who were happy to meet each other, is a prophetic sign, a sign that runs counter to today’s sad tendency toward hostile nationalism that builds walls and is closed to universality, to the encounter of peoples. It is a sign that young Christians are the leaven of peace in the world.

The road ahead… In his video message to World Indigenous Youth Gathering, the Pope says, “May your actions, the consciousness you have of belong to your indigenous peoples, be a reaction against the throw-away culture, against this culture that has forgotten its roots, projecting to a future more and more ´liquid´, without foundation”.  He continues, using the example of an unnamed poet, saying, “everything that blooms on a tree comes from that which is underground, the roots, but roots that grow towards the future, projected towards the future. That is your challenge today!” All signs show that young indigenous people are up to Pope´s challenge and will continue to bear fruit from the richness of their ancestral cultures in the “protection of our Common Home and the collaboration in the construction of the ‘other possible world’, more equitable and more human”.

Joe Fitzgerald, CM
Executive Secretary
National Coordination of Indigenous Ministry, Panama

February 8, 2019

St. Vincent would be truly proud of this missionary living out the missionary spirit so dear to the heart of Vincent.

Vincentian Youth Experience World Youth Day

One of the familiar quotes of St. Vincent de Paul to his first followers was the hope they would live in the manner of dear friends. Based on what 500 young people in Panama experienced the weekend of January 18-20 as they gathered together, this hope is alive and well!

Young people who serve as Marian Youth, members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, MISEVI, as well as priests and brothers of the Congregation of the Mission and sisters in the Company of the Daughters of Charity, gathered in San Jose de Malambo for several days to discover ¨The Joy of Being Vincentian.” Fifteen nations were represented among the 500 pilgrims who traveled long distances to come together in praise of Jesus Christ, the Evangelizer of the Poor, His Blessed Mother, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, under the watchful patronage of our Founders, Saints Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac.

The weekend began with a joyous Mass celebrated by our Superior General of the Vincentian Family, namely, Fr. Tomaz Mavric, CM, the 26th successor to St. Vincent de Paul. Fr. Mavric told the gathered group that, ¨The joy of the Gospel comes from the conviction that, as Vincent de Paul said, we continue the mission of Jesus on earth. We are called to announce through our words and work that we are at the service of the poor, and in fact, at the service of Jesus Himself.¨

The young pilgrims saw and heard from priests, sisters, and a dedicated party of the Vincentian family about the rich, deep spirituality that undergirds the charism of St. Vincent de Paul. There was catechesis on the joy of being Vincentian, and workshops on practical ways to live the Vincentian charism. There were also moments of great community as they gathered for prayer, Eucharist, meals, and to simply enjoy one another’s company.

The young people who were representatives of Honduras, Colombia, Panama, and Mexico were all trying to outdo each other in singing and dancing at the Folklore Fellowship Nights. However, pilgrims from Taiwan, Slovakia, Brazil, and the USA all gave them great competition!

Overall, this weekend was a time of great joy and coming together. Friendships among the young pilgrims blossomed and the priests, sisters, and laity who are leaders were able to renew the bond of charity that the Vincentian charism has awakened in them over the years.  The young pilgrims left this weekend with a better understanding of faith, the Vincentian charism, and the virtues that make it possible: humility, charity, simplicity, zeal, and sacrifice. Nothing can stop them now from living the joy of being Vincentian!

John Maher, CM

Province of Eastern of USA

Meeting of Vincentian Youth in Panama, January 2019

Prior to the World Youth Day in Panama, which will gather hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the world with Pope Francis, the young pilgrims of the Vincentian Family come together to celebrate together the joy of being Vincentian.


466 participants have gathered for this meeting from the following countries: Argentina, Mexico, United States, Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Brazil, Canada, Australia, India, Nigeria, South Africa, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Slovakia, Guiné Bissau, Haiti, Peru, Polônia, Portugal, Porto Rico, Saint Lucia, Taiwan, and Cuba.

In a festive and fraternal atmosphere, young Vincentians celebrate and live intense moments, as well as participate in formation and festive gatherings.

Once the Vincentian meeting is over, everyone will go to the World Youth Day meeting to renew their faith and commitment with hundreds of thousands of other young people, coming from all over the globe, who will meet Pope Francis.

The post first appeared on the site of the Vincentian Family Office.

Pope Francis – Be Grateful for your History, Search for Answers

The Hopes of Pope Francis

As I read what Pope Francis said to literally thousands of indigenous youth as they gather for a historic event prior to World Youth Day, two sentences struck me.

I urge that this be an opportunity for you to respond to the invitation, addressed to young people at other times, to be grateful for the history of your peoples and courageous in the face of the challenges that surround you, to move forward full of hope in building another possible world.

  • Gratitude for one’s culture
  • Courage in the face of challenges
  • Hope in building another possible world.

…search for answers, from an evangelical perspective, to so many and so scandalous situations of marginalization, exclusion, waste and impoverishment to which millions of young people are condemned, especially the youth of native peoples, in the world.

  • Marginalization and exclusion of youth
  • Waste an impoverishment of millions of young people around the world

Food for thought

  • How grateful am I for the culture that shaped me?
  • What gives me courage in the face of the challenges around me?
  • What am I do to build a better possible world?

Please find below a working translation of the Pope’s video message:

Dear young people,

At the end of World Youth Day in Krakow in July 2016, I told the young volunteers: “We assume the memory of our past to build the future with courage”. And this is the motto that you have chosen for this World Meeting of Indigenous Youth that brought you together from January 17 to 21 of this year (pre-GMG) in Soloy, Comarca Ngäbe-Buglé, diocese of David, Panama.

I congratulate you because this is the first time that a pre-WYD meeting has been organized specifically for youth of indigenous and native peoples at the world level. It is an initiative for which I would like to thank the Section for the Pastoral Care of the Indigenous People of the Bishops’ Conference of Panama, supported by CELAM.

Dear young people, I urge you that this meeting, which brings together hundreds of young people from different native peoples, may serve to reflect and celebrate your faith in Jesus Christ starting from the millennial richness of your original cultures. I urge that this be an opportunity for you to respond to the invitation, addressed to young people at other times, to be grateful for the history of your peoples and courageous in the face of the challenges that surround you, to move forward full of hope in building another possible world.

Return to native cultures. Take care of the roots, because from the roots comes the strength that will make you grow, prosper and bear fruit. It must also be a way of showing the indigenous face of our Church in the context of WYD and of affirming our commitment to protect the Common House and to collaborate in building another possible world, that is more just and more human.

Undoubtedly, the themes that, according to the programme, will be the object of your reflection, will stimulate the search for answers, from an evangelical perspective, to so many and so scandalous situations of marginalization, exclusion, waste and impoverishment to which millions of young people are condemned, especially the youth of native peoples, in the world. May your actions, the awareness of belonging to your peoples, be a reaction against this culture of waste, against this culture of forgetting your roots, projected towards a future that is ever more liquid, gaseous and without foundation.

Boys and girls, take care of your cultures! Take care of your roots! But don’t stop there: from those roots grow, flower, bear fruit. A poet has said that “everything that the tree has in bloom, comes from what is underground.” The roots . But roots taken into the future. Projected into the future. This is your challenge today.

It will be a pleasure for me to meet you in Panama. And in the meantime, my best wishes for the meeting and I give you my blessing.

Jatuaida , Jamorogodre.

May God bless you!

Fr. Joe Fitzgerald Interviewed by Vatican News Agency

We are very grateful to the Vatican News Agency for Sofia Lobos’ insightful interview with our Eastern Province confrere Father Joseph Fitzgerald, CM (Executive Secretary of the National Coordination of Indigenous Ministry [CONAPI].

For those who can read Spanish the original can be found at

Gathering of Young Indigenous Men and Women:

Celebrate Faith and the Richness of Culture

[The Vatican News Agency interviewed Father Joseph Fitzgerald, CM, one of the organizers of the event who stated: We want young indigenous men and women to be aware of the fact that they are heirs of a great spiritual richness, heirs of a joy and a culture that the world so desperately needs].

The World Gathering of Indigenous Youth is an initiative that has been inspired by the words that Pope Francis spoke to the volunteers during the World Youth Day celebration in Kraków (2016). There the Pope spoke about young people as hope of the future. That hope for the future, however, is conditioned by two realities: memory and courage. The first [reality] is to remember. Trying to understand where I come from: the memory of my people, my family, my whole history … the second [reality] … have courage, be strong, don’t be afraid (Pope Francis, Meeting with Volunteers, July 31, 2016).

[Full text of Pope Francis’ Message”]

Memory and courage in order to be hope of the future

Those words of Pope Francis gave birth to the idea of gathering together indigenous young people in order to celebrate their faith from the perspective of the millennial richness of their culture. At the same time this gathering would provide these young people with an opportunity to share their challenges and their hopes. Months of work and organization will be made visible in the World Encounter of Indigenous Young People. This gathering will take place in the community of Soloy, the reservation of the Ngäbe-Buglé (Diocese of David in the Republic of Panama) and is part of the Vincentian Youth Gathering.

In this interview with the Vatican News Agency, Father Joseph Fitzgerald, CM (Executive Secretary of the National Coordination of Indigenous Ministry [CONAPI], the primary organization that is promoting this event from January 17-21 2019) stated: This is a wonderful opportunity to respond to the Pope’s invitation that young men and women express their gratitude for the history of their people. At the same time, they are able to respond to the call to act with courage and to embrace the challenges that surround them. In this way they can move forward with hope and participate in the construction of a new world. Delegations from Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, etc. are expected to participate in this gathering.

Challenges that indigenous young people confront

We take ownership of the memory of our past in order to build up the world with courage … such is the theme of this gathering, a theme that was chosen by the indigenous people in Panama who are members of the organizing team. The theme is in accord with the primary challenges that this new generation of indigenous people must confront. Each day these young men and women are called up to overcome obstacles such as marginalization, financial uncertainty, living their identity in the midst of a world that so often does not understand or value cultural differences.

The Logo of the 2019 Indigenous Gathering

It is important to highlight the importance of the logo of this gathering. First, we see the cross, the central symbol of our Christian faith … a symbol that invites young people to commit themselves and follow in the footsteps of Jesus who is the fullness of hope for our people.

The roof of the house made from traditional indigenous materials symbolizes the unity of the members of a community that walk together. The cocoa is the sacred fruit of many Mesoamerican people. Father Joseph stated: we drink cocoa in a spirit of solidarity during significant moments in the life of the community. This enables us to experience ourselves as true brothers and sisters, as a family.

 The roots of the plant represent our respect for Mother Earth who gives life. Furthermore, corn is a basic food for the indigenous people and is seen as the sacred food of our people.

 Finally, the chameleon invites everyone to respect the rich diversity of God’s creation. Young people are invited to commit themselves to maintain an intimate relationship with all of God’s creation and to view this gift as an inheritance that they have received from their grandparents.

What are the fruits that you hope to obtain from this meeting?

Father Fitzgerald explained: We hope that young people can get to know each other; that they will focus on the commitment and the good example that they have witness in their villages … places where so many have fought and given their lives to protect their people. We hope that these young indigenous men and women come to recognize that they are heirs of a great wealth, of a joy and a culture that the world so badly needs, and that they return to their homes renewed and strengthened in their faith.

 Translated: Charles T. Plock, CM Eastern Province, USA

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The Joy of Being Vincentian… and Young!

The Joy of Being Vincentian! That is the theme of the Vincentian Youth Gathering 2019. The Central Committee of the Vincentian Youth Gathering to be held prior to  World Youth Day releases its first official bulletin. it includes the basic information of time, costs, and links for more details. We have also receibed word that the location of the gathering will be at the Family Camp of the Assembly of God Church in San Carlos, Panama (about an hour and thirty minutes from the Airport in Panama City).

Several catechetical themes will be treated in several language groups.  There will be two Assembly Masses: on Sat., Jan 19: Fr Tomaz in Spanish and on Sun., Jan 20: Fr Steve Grozio in English.


Dear Young of the Vincentian Family in all its Branches, Commissions and Continental Organizations:

The Central Committee of VYG2019 greets you from Panama, place where the WYD2019 will take place, and wants to invite you to share with us “The Joy of Being Vincentian” being part of this great family event that will give us the opportunity to strengthen our identity of Being Church from the Vincentian charism in Latin America. In addition to providing a meeting space for Vincentian pilgrims, we hope also to contribute to the formation of Vincentian youth of the world with our experience of the Latin American faith, and so collaborate in their spiritual growth, through the experience of the laity (secular), cultivating maturity in the identity and commitment of young people towards the future as active adults in different Vincentian branches.

The VYG2019 will take place, in a site still to be defined in Panama, from January Friday 18th to Monday 21st 2019, day in which we will leave the meeting to join the activities of the WYD2019 that will begin on Tuesday 22nd and end on Sunday 27th.

The registration of our meeting will be USD$60.00 plus the solidarity fund of WYD2019 and the package that your group chooses to participate in the WYD2019. For example, if you choose the A1 package of the WYD2019, everything would come out in USD$302.00 (VYG2019: USD$60.00; WYD2019 Solidarity Fund: USD$12.00; WYD Package A1: USD$230.00). To this must also be added the costs of the bank transfer.

We know that the dates are a bit difficult for some because it is not a holiday season, while for others will do great. That’s why we want you to provide us with your information, through the following link, to know your interest in participating in the VYG2019, how many people do you have in your group interested in participating in the meeting, and to ensure that we have your information so that our next communications, where we will provide more information about the meeting, can reach you. We are waiting for you in Panama!

United in prayer, your brothers and sisters in Vincent and Louise say goodbye,

Group registration link

Social networks : Facebook, Twitter,  ejv2019



Panama, March12th 2018

Saint Mary`s Parrish – San Pablo Street 775, Balboa, Ancon, Panama – Tel.(507)228-0036 –