This year youth encounter with the Pope, also known as World Youth Day, is in Panama City. Although from Asia it is a long and quite expensive trip, still East Asia Delegation managed to send a small representative group. From Taiwan the number of groups and people in each group joining the event is a small fraction when compared with the numbers of Poland WYD or even Brazil. One of these groups is the Claretian one, with just three members.
Indeed, numbers are not important, as those who participate are just representatives of Catholic youth communities from all over the world. The WYD event is an opportunity to open the eyes and the heart to experience the richness of Catholic Christianity from a youth perspective. Participants get to know the lives and spiritual experiences of their peers in cultural setups that are different from those of their country of origin, and doing so, they can realize, too, how the unequivocal message of the Good News of the Gospel can be incarnated in a variety of cultures which reflect and make this Good News flourish from the idiosyncrasy of each cultural milieu. Catholic Christianity is truly universal and truly localized, and this richness is attested in the many historical colors, sounds and shapes that it has taken and still takes throughout the world in its unending dialogue with peoples and cultures.
May the 2019 WYD+CF representatives from East Asia be able bring a bit of this side of the Pacific Ocean to the other side. As the earth is a spheroid our East Asia is, indeed, their Pacific Ocean west shore!