youth rally dayHundreds of young Catholics from around the island are expected to converge at Portsmouth Roman Catholic Church on Saturday for the annual Diocesan World Youth Day Rally.

The event is being hosted by the Diocese of Roseau Youth Secretariat in collaboration with the Parish of St. John and St. Lewis under the theme: “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Mt 28:19).

The annual rally is expected to attract 1,000 youth representing every parish of Dominica.

The day’s activities will begin at 9:30 am when the youths gather at the  Glanvillia Playing Field  for a Eucharistic procession to the church.

At the rally the young people will profess their faith and share their gifts through song, dance, drama and various spiritual activities.

The rally will conclude with a grand Eucharistic Celebration at 4:00 pm.

Organizers say they expect it to be a spirit filled day.

The history of World Youth Day dates back to 1984 when over 300,000 young people from around the world responded to the invitation of Pope John Paul II for an International Jubilee of Youth on Palm Sunday in St. Peter’s square.

Looking out to the crowd that responded to his invitation the Pope said, “What a fantastic spectacle is presented on this stage by your gathering here today! Who claimed that today’s youth have lost their sense of values? Is it really true that they cannot be counted on?”

The following Palm Sunday, coinciding with the United Nation’s International Year of the Youth, the Pope took the opportunity to welcome the youth of the world to Rome again. He later announced the institution of World Youth Day, and the first official WYD was held in 1986.

Every Palm Sunday has since been designated as a World Youth Day, alternately celebrated at the diocesan and international levels.

The next international celebration of World Youth Day will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 10-21, 2013 with Pope Francis.

Fifteen Dominican youth will participate in this pilgrimage which is expected to attract over 1 million young people from all over the world.