Hawaii’s youth wouldn’t let distance deter them from attending World Youth Day. Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu speaks of this special event as a “gift” and explains why it is important for him to accompany the young leaders in his flock.
I attended WYD in Sydney in 2008. I was particularly impressed with the joy demonstrated when youth from different countries encountered each other on the streets and greeted each other with love.
Every now and then the Lord gives us special events, high points in life that may not last long in themselves but that have lasting effects. I believe WYD is such a gift. It is one way the Lord sparks the fire of love in the hearts of youth – and those who have the privilege of accompanying them – so that they can set others on fire with the love of Jesus.
About 100 pilgrims from Hawaii are attending WYD, and I think it is important for me to be present with them at this potentially life-changing event. I also pray that I will develop an ongoing relationship with these young leaders in the Church, so that we may work together to share the Good News of Jesus for years to come.
I hope the youth will have such a deep experience of encounter with the risen Christ through his Body, the Church, that they will dedicate themselves more fully to working for peace among the nations; justice for all, not just for our own friends and close neighbors; and enthusiasm for giving life-long witness to Jesus in every aspect of their lives and in all the institutions in which they participate.
I know the gifts of youthful enthusiasm and openness to the truth will enrich all who participate and all whom the participants touch in the future.
+ Larry Silva
Most Reverend Clarence (Larry) Silva
Bishop of Honolulu