At sunset of January 22, 2019, at the Cinta Costera “Campo Santa Maria la Antigua,” Panamanian Archbishop Jose Ulloa Mendieta celebrated the Welcome Mass for the World Youth Day 2019.
He said in his homily that he hope that the gathering in Panama would offer something like a cure for the problems that young people experience in the existential and geographic peripheries.
He made mention of the young indigenous people and wanted them to know that they are important and they are the reason for an enormous effort of human mobilization.
Furthermore, he said that he hope that the church’s teachings, the sacraments, the kinship of the upcoming days would bring about an encounter with Jesus Christ for those facing challenges and help them confront the anti-values of a system that offers a false sense of happiness.
He also made mention of the models that the young people can look at to: St. Martin de Porres, St. Rosa of Lima, St. Juan Diego, St. Jose Sanchez del Rio, St. Juan Bosco, Blessed Sor Maria Romero Meneses, and St. Oscar Arnulfo Romero that made the young people shout with so much joy. Then he talked about the saints of today and who can live a saintly life. He said that a saint seeks justice, prays, lives and loves the community, has a sense of humor, always is in the struggle, leaves mediocrity behind, lives the mercy of God and shares it with his fellow. Then he encouraged the youth to be not afraid in opting to be one of them.
“Don’t be afraid, be courageous to be a saint in today’s world…do not renounce your youth and your happiness.”
He ended his homily by encouraging the youth to “keep on making messes (hacer líos) and keep on making the adults nervous, keep detaching oneself from the things that tie us down and won’t let us be true Christians.”
After the Mass, a youth party followed.