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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Warm city, warm hearts: Panama opens its doors to young people

As World Youth Day in Panama draws near, organisers said they are prepared to make young people from around the globe feel right at home.

While warm temperatures will greet thousands of young people in Panama, Fr Romero Aguilar, WYD general co-ordinator, told Catholic News Service he hopes that the warmth of hospitality will also make them feel welcome.

“People are opening their homes to house young people. We were surprised by how the people responded to the appeal for housing. We want all the kids to have a place, a space, a home,” Fr Aguilar said.

Fr Aguilar, along with Archbishop Jose Domingo Ulloa of Panama, Danubia Allard, the Panamanian foreign ministry’s liaison for WYD, and Miroslava Rosas, Panama’s ambassador to the Holy See, were among the dignitaries and Church officials briefing journalists on 11th December on the forthcoming event and their preparations to welcome Pope Francis and the myriad of young men and women expected to attend.

The pope’s visit to Panama from 23rd to 27th January will be his 26th trip outside of Italy and his third World Youth Day.

Picture: A street musician performs as World Youth Day volunteers pose on 24th April in Colon, Panama. Volunteers from San Jose Parish pictured in back are Miguel Pinilla, Joan Berrio, Yarlene Allen and Yitzhak Gonzalez. In front are Neyci Romero and Yeison Sanchez. World Youth Day 2019 will be celebrated from 22nd to 27th January in Panama City. (CNS photo/Bob Roller).