Tag Archives: wyd panama

WYD Panama: Jewish synagogue hosting WYD group

The synagogue of Panama City is hosting a group of WYD pilgrims. Rabbi Gustavo Kraselnik of the synagogue spoke to Seàn-Patrick Lovett of Vatican News about the warm relations between his community and Catholics.

Rabbi Gustavo Kraselnik (r) speaking to Seàn-Patrick Lovett. 

Vatican – The Catholic Church’s World Youth Day is unfolding in Panama City around Pope Francis, with thousands of young people from around the world participating in various events. 

One of the numerous venues where young people are gathering is the Jewish synagogue of Panama City, which speaks volumes about the close friendship between Jews and Christians in the Central American nation.

To find more about this “strong and vibrant collaboration” between the two communities, Seán-Patrick Lovett spoke to the Jewish Rabbi of Panama City, Gustavo Kraselnik, whose synagogue is hosting a group of 50 young participants in the WYD

Rabbi Kraselnik said that this friendship is not surprising as it comes to them naturally, not just with Catholics but with all religions. Panama being a small country, they know each other well.

The rabbi pointed out that Jewish-Catholic relations have greatly improved since Vatican II. In the last 15 to 20 years, Jews and Catholics in Panama began to visit, meet and talk to each other more frequently, to build a relationship based on respect and joining hands in good works. 

Rabbi Kraselnik said that in their neighbourhood, Jews talked with the parish of St. Lucas Parish to host a group of WYD participants in their synagogue. 

The rabbi said that relations between religious communities depend on how much hope religious leaders bring in their ecumenical or inter-faith dialogue, especially in moments of crisis and tension such as the period of dictatorship in Panama. This, he said, benefits society. 

With Panama a mosaic of diversity, Rabbi Kraselnik said inter-religious friendship is only natural. – Robin Gomes, 24 Jan 2019

Cardinal Tagle at WYD in Panama: Service is a sign of discipleship

The Cardinal Archbishop of Manila leads a morning catechesis in Panama City, and challenges his young audience to consider what it means to serve.

Cardinal Luis Tagle, Archbishop of Manila

Vatican – Another day in Panama. Another morning catechesis somewhere in the city. Another theme to help young people immerse themselves in the spirit of a World Youth Day which, after the arrival of the Pope, is now in full swing.

I am the Servant of the Lord

On Thursday morning, the Parish of Cristo Redentor opened its doors to young pilgrims from California, Austria, Zimbabwe, and the Philippines.

The latter were by far the most numerous, and the most raucous. Their excitement was partly motivated by the presence of their very own Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle. It was he who delivered the catechesis, or reflection, on the chosen theme of the day: “I am the Servant of the Lord”.

Cardinal Tagle began by quizzing the young people present about who had said these words, to whom, and why. Their responses (almost all correct), allowed him to explain how Mary’s reaction to the Angel challenges us, too, to think about what it means to place ourselves and our lives at the service of God and our neighbour.

Young people want to serve

In an interview with Vatican News, Cardinal Tagle develops this concept of service, turning it into a broader reflection on “how our contemporary culture regards the terminology of servant, slave, slavery”.

“From the Old Testament to the New Testament”, he says, “there is a radical re-appropriation of the language of slavery and servanthood which is normally associated with dehumanization, something that is degrading”. The Cardinal goes on to clarify how, “in the Judeo-Christian tradition, set in the new context of Covenant Relationship”, this same language acquires something that is joyful. It even becomes a sign of being “a disciple of Christ”.

According to the Archbishop of Manila, “young people everywhere are more attracted to direct actions of service and charity”.

He admits that, “unfortunately, our approach to pastoral ministry towards the youth very often starts with doctrinal initiation”. It’s only afterwards that we get them involved in action. “But I see nowadays a need to reverse the process”, he says: “Let them experience service of neighbour, and let their hearts burn with service. Then you invite them to the “naming” of that experience”.

The Cardinal believes the problem does not lie with the young people, but with the pastoral approach of the Church. He is convinced, he says, that “if we bring them to situations in need of their loving service, they will gladly do it!”-  Seán-Patrick Lovett, 24 Jan 2019

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