By: Johnny Martinez
World Youth Day Echo was a success! Over 200 young people gathered at St. Joseph Salesian Youth Renewal Center in Rosemead for an event with a purpose. On May 4, 2019 thousands were invited to participate in sharing the Panama World Youth Day theme “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word” Luke 1:38. We had many guest speakers including, Hector Ibarra, Rhyan Ramirez, Diana Wehbe and over 20 community organizations and ministries that gave the participants an opportunity to directly respond to God’s call in their lives.
World Youth Day Echo had witness talks, three breakout sessions with three different speakers for young adults, youth, and Spanish audiences, live music, and outdoor Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It was a time for the community in the surrounding San Gabriel Pastoral Region to gather and experience for the first time or re-experience the World Youth Day experience through the eyes of Mary’s “Fiat.” Participants were encouraged to reflect on their calling and relationship with God. Many had a powerful encounter with the Lord. One such young person was Paola Torres, a young adult leader at Santo Tomas Parish in Los Angeles. She wrote:
“My experience in World Youth Day Echo was such an amazing experience that made me reflect on all the blessings I received when I went to the World Youth Day at Panama. I had a great time at WYD Echo i enjoyed worshiping, adoration and walking with the Blessed Sacrament. I learn a lot from the witness talks , there was a lot of fear in me at first but after hearing all of the strong and amazing testimonies I learned that I needed to let go of that fear and let God’s plan begin in my life. I realized that I shouldn’t be afraid of God’s calling because he is merciful and has a special plan for each of us just like the plan that our mother Mary had. I felt that the strength of the Holy Spirit allowed me to say yes and understand that God works in mysterious ways but we must trust in him like our Mother Mary did because he knows what is best for us. This experience allowed me to take off that blindfold and see that God has been there with me and will continue to be with me as long as I continue to have faith and trust in him.”
Also, check out this video for World Youth Day Echo May 2019
If you are interested in San Gabriel Pastoral Region – World Youth Day Lisbon 2022