· Vatican City ·

Guinea-Bissau’s youth gatherings bring together thousands of young people

 Guinea-Bissau’s youth gatherings  bring together thousands of young people  ING-019
10 May 2024

As happens every year, during the Fifth Sunday of Easter, the two dioceses of Guinea-Bissau have held youth congresses and festivals in their respective dioceses of Bissaue and Bafata. Over three thousand young people attended the Bissau event, while a thousand others were in Bafata.

Over the years, the three-day congresses and festivals have become moments of faith formation, reflection, and communion for young Catholics drawn from different parts of Guinea-Bissau.

Organised by the respective Diocesan Commissions for Adolescence and Youth in the two dioceses, this year’s event brought together thousands of young people from the dioceses to celebrate their faith and discuss issues relevant to their communities under the theme “The truth will set you free.”

The role of young people in evangelization

During the three-day event, the youth participated in catechetical sessions, moments of communal and personal prayer, and social activities. There were lively discussions, such as on the role of young people in evangelization.

In addition to religious and faith formation activities, the diocesan days of encounter were also an occasion to promote tolerance, national cohesions and integration among participants. This was done mostly through moments of conviviality and leisure, such as games, art, cultural presentations as well as music and dance. The overall aim was to bring about the appreciation of coexistence and encourage peaceful living through play and skits.

At a personal level, for many young people, the three days of the congress were a unique opportunity to strengthen their spirituality and connect with and network with others who share similar challenges, faith, and ideals.

“I was able to meet young people from other regions and share experiences that will forever remain in my life,” said one of the participants.

A wholesome and positive experience

The Diocesan Commissions for Adolescence and Youth coordinators in the two dioceses also praised the annual youth gathering. Father Abulai Sanha, in-charge of the youth ministry in the Diocese of Bissau, spoke highly of the youth congress and festival’s impact and benefits.

“The whole experience is positive for the young people. Although it is not perfect, I consider the annual youth gatherings to be positive and beneficial for the young participants,” he said.

Youth as agents of society’s transformation

In the Diocese of Bafata, Father Naresh Gosala praised the way in which young people from the Diocese participated in the various events.

“All parishes, without exception, participated with great joy and enthusiasm. The young people were fully present with all their hearts,” he said.

The Diocesan Days of Guinean Catholic Youth, which take place annually during the Fifth Sunday of Easter, not only strengthen the faith of the young people but also reinforce the commitment of Catholic youth in Guinea-Bissau to be agents of transformation in their communities, following the teachings of Jesus Christ.

By Casimiro Jorge Cajucam –Bissau.