Kuala Lumpur - The 51 pilgrims from Malaysia who attended the World Youth Day (WYD) in Panama (January 22-27) have been strengthened by the faith they witnessed and are raring to share their experiences with their friends and family in Malaysia: says to Agenzia Fides Archbishop Aaron Matanjun, at the head of the community of Kota Kinabalu, and says: "The Days In Diocese at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Colón - Kuna Yala, Panama has indeed been an exciting experience for us. Throughout the week, we made friends and had experiences that we will never forget. One of the things that impacted us would be how nice the Catholics from Colón were towards other Catholics from all over the globe. This made me realise how we Catholics should be receptive to others regardless of their background. Hence we pledge to be more receptive to the will of God and to always say: Thy will be done". The Archbishop added: "Our two weeks of journey in this foreign country has truly given our youth countless memorable memories, we prayed and played together as a family for one week".
"Praise the Lord, I had a fruitful trip. This was my first ever World Youth Day (WYD).
Both the Days in the Diocese in Colon and WYD in Panama City I stayed with a foster family. This was a great experience for me as the family really treated me very well, just like a real family member.
Then, we had a pilgrimage, stations of the cross and rosary. It was excellent, although all the youths were from different countries and speaking different languages, but we prayed together and worshipped God together.
Finally, I was inspired by what Pope Francis said to all the youths: be like Mary, always be courageous to say ‘YES’ to God", says to Fides Dominic Ng, of the diocese of Malacca Johore.
"This WYD has given me new strength to lead our Campus Ministry of Malacca Johore Diocese. Our task now is to be able to empower every person in the campus and inspire them to join the next WYD in Lisbon, Portugal in 2022", says Joe Baxter, a young man from Malacca Johore diocese.
"Thanks to Almighty God for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime which cannot be substituted. Participating as a pilgrim in the World Youth Day is the most meaningful moment in my life", says Josephine Mary Agustine, Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese.
Malaysia is a multicultural country with a Muslim majority founded on secular principles. Christianity in Malaysia is a religion practiced by 9.2% of the population. Two thirds of the 2.6 million Christians live in eastern Malaysia, in the provinces of Sabah and Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo), where they make up 30% of the population. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 18/2/2019)