Young men and women from various parts of El Salvador who participated in the Carmelite Youth (JUCAR) were given the opportunity to prepare for World Youth Day in Panama in January 2019.
Over a period of days, the Carmelites of Centro Xiberta went through various classes and exercises to bring the youth together and to familiarize them with how to benefit the most from the Youth Day experience.
Some of the small group activities allowed them to get to know people from outside their home area, allowing them to network with other young people from around the country.
The full group of pilgrims to the 2019 Work Youth Day in Panama met to celebrate Mass a few hours before the trip started. The chapel is the site of St. Oscar Romero’s assassination while he celebrated Mass. All Salvadorans feel a sacred connection to this chapel so it was fitting that the 100 plus Carmelite youth going to World Youth Day would start their journey here. Following a Mass where a young Salvadoran made his Solemn Vows in the Carmelite Order, the Carmelite Youth were enrolled in the Carmelite scapular and received a special blessing from the Prior Provincial.
Some final directions and prayer at Centro Xiberta before the group sets out to the buses that will take them to Panama City for the encounter with Pope Francis and other youth from all over the world. Enthusiasm is still high the next morning on the bus!
The World Youth Days are actually several days of activities. Here are some scenes of the Carmelite Youth at some of those activities. One period is set aside for all the youth from Carmelite parishes, schools, and formation houses around the world to come together for a day with the Prior General and other Carmelites. The theme of the day was taken from a phrase of St. Teresa de los Andes, God is infinite Joy.
The Carmelite Day began with a procession through the streets of the city with the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. During the course of the procession there were different moments in which there was celebration, or prayer and reflection. Various groups shared their folklore.
As a continuation of the prayer and reflection of the morning, there was a “holy hour” of Eucharistic Adoration in the afternoon. Later in the programme, there was a solemn celebration of the Eucharist. The Day ended with a brief festival of religious music.