YOUCAT: to bring “something new”

Published on 16 August 2021 - 15:49

In his Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio: Sanctuarium in Ecclesia”, published in 2017, Pope Francis invites the great sanctuaries of the world not to be satisfied with offering tourist visits or recognised only by the popular devotions of their pilgrims. The Holy Father encourages the shrines to organise themselves, in the spirit of a new evangelisation, so as to allow the pilgrims to leave having discovered “something new”.

“Discovering something new”

To respond to this call, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes and the YOUCAT Foundation got down to work. After the successful first year in 2019, a follow-up was planned for 2020 but, unfortunately, due to the Corona virus pandemic, it had to be cancelled.

This year, from 20th July to 20th August, everything is starting again! Four new YOUCAT missionaries, from Germany, Lebanon and Costa Rica, are delighted to be providing activities in the Marian city.

Johny Alkhoueiry (20, Lebanese) tells us about his first week. “Our mission is really significant and sustains Christian hope in these times of turmoil and crisis!

We prayed and participated in the various activities offered by the sanctuary so that we could understand the message of Lourdes more fully. We also responsible for setting up the YOUCAT stand at the Parvis Sainte-Bernadette.

With YOUCAT, this place brings together several Catholic groups: Vocations Service, CCFD Terre Solidaire, Pax Christi and the Pontifical Missionaries; all offer different programmes or exhibitions for young people and individual pilgrims.”

A great adventure with lots of children

An intensive start saw many children participating in the lively workshop with music, dance and various resources from YOUCAT for Kids. Of course, the mascots Bob and Lilly, two characters from the children’s catechism, were there too!

YOUCAT volunteers put all their energy, creativity and effort into the hands of Our Lord and Our Lady of Lourdes. They also entrust their mission to our Mother Church and to the young people they meet.