By Analou De Vera
Hundreds of Filipino delegates are expected to travel to Panama to participate in the World Youth Day slated from January 22 to 27.
Rev. Fr. Conegundo Garganta, executive director of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines–Episcopal Commission on Youth, said that at least 250 Filipinos, consisting of Catholic prelates and youths, will join the worldwide event.
Garganta said that among the church officials who will join the event include Diocese of Talibon Bishop Daniel Patrick Parcon, Diocese of Bacolod Bishop Patrick Buzon, Diocese of Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias, and Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
“These are the bishops that I know who already registered for the World Youth Day to be held in Panama, around 200 to 250, I’m not sure of the number because we have not collected or gathered the numbers yet from those other groups outside of the Episcopal Commission on Youth,” said Garganta in an interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas.
Meanwhile, Garganta said that the youth pilgrims will be coming from different parishes, dioceses, schools, and youth organizations.
The first World Youth Day event was held in Rome, Italy in 1986. It is an annual gathering of youth and young adults to strengthen and celebrate their Catholic faith.
The Philippines hosted the event in 1995, with then Pope John Paul II celebrated the closing Mass. The said Eucharistic Mass had set a world record being the “Largest Number of People Gathered for a Single Religious Event” with approximately five million attendees.